That report asserted that a typical new 250 megawatt wind farm would create 1,079 jobs. But a second part of that report [PDF] — looking at wind’s local impacts in particular places – was even more relevant to the new county-level impact study.
The list of economic benefits cited for Sherman County, Ore., for example, gives some insight into what might be driving the growth figures arrived at in the county study:
- $17.5 million in property taxes and fees
- Annual payments of up to $7,800 per turbine to landowners
- Per capita income increases, from $18,354 in 2001 to $52,530 in 2011, to become the highest in the state
- $1.8 million grant to school district in 2011 to fund new equipment, classes, and teachers
- Five-hundred onsite construction jobs
- Eighty long-term jobs in operation
- Increased economic activity helps keep small businesses alive
- Annual check of $590 to all residents
The new study, “Ex post analysis of economic impacts from wind power development in U.S. counties,” appears in the November 2012 issue of Energy Economics, and unfortunately is behind a $31.50 pay wall. But a draft-version PDF of the article is available, as is a two-page fact sheet prepared by the Department of Energy, which financed the work, and a briefing summary prepared by the authors.
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