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Wind Economic Development

This page provides software applications and publications to help individuals, developers, local governments, and utilities make decisions about wind power. Projecting costs and benefits of new installations, including the economic development impacts created, is a key element in looking at potential wind applications. Communities, states, regions, jobs (i.e., construction, operations and maintenance), the tax base, tax revenues, and others can be positively affected. These benefits are in addition to the impacts for the owner or developer.

Wind, A Montana County's Plan to Reverse a Declining Tax Base and Expand Economic Opportunities

Thumbnail of the Cascade County Wind Power brochure.

Cascade County, Montana, Commissioner Peggy Beltrone, initiated an aggressive, first-of-its-kind wind power marketing program in 2002 to attract wind power development. It was part of a plan to reverse a declining tax base and expand economic opportunities. Today, Cascade County welcomes developers with rich resources to easily prospect ideal locations for wind development. Digital wind maps bring together into one package all the essential wind data as a free service to wind developers. It is the centerpiece of the wind marketing program. The county also connects developers to business relationships, by introducing them to landowners, contractors, land agents, and permitting officials.

Jobs and Economic Development Impact Model

The Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) model is a user-friendly tool that calculates economic impacts from wind projects.

Small Wind Economic Model

The Small Wind Economic Model is a spreadsheet tool that can help you analyze the economics of a small wind electric system and decide whether wind energy will work for you.

Wind Energy Finance Online Calculator

Wind Energy Finance provides quick, detailed economic evaluation of potential utility-scale wind energy projects. The tool is designed for those who have general experience with project financial analysis but little knowledge of wind projects. Potential users include: state and local economic development officials, rural landowners interested in owning or benefitting from wind energy projects, applicants pursuing Rural Energy for America Program funding, and rural co-op and municipal utility officials. Wind Energy Finance Brochure

Economic Impact Studies

Studies about the economic impact of wind farms in rural communities. The studies explore the types of information gathered when undertaking an economic impact study, what kind of information is most helpful in using these studies to further promote wind energy development in rural communities, and the limitations on collecting data for these studies.

Resources and Tools

Lists publications, news, and websites with information about wind economic development.