Friday, January 19, 2007

News From My Backyard: Wind Energy An Economic Wind Fall for the Pacific Northwest

[Time for a shameless plug for a fact sheet I created and just released...]

Between October 2005 and October 2006, seven new wind farms were completed in the Northwest, providing 954 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity – that is enough clean, renewable energy to power 238,500 average Northwestern homes. These new wind farms are bringing billions of dollars of capital investment and new economic activity to the region, according to a new fact sheet released this week by the Renewable Northwest Project.

The development of wind energy has grown over the last several years because the price of wind-generated electricity is affordable and stable over the long term. Wind farms create a variety of economic benefits including:

  • keeping jobs and money in our communities;
  • funding schools, fire districts and other essential services;
  • providing a new source of income for farmers and rural landowners; and
  • creating thousands of good-paying jobs.

    Here’s what 954 megawatts of new wind power has brought to the Pacific Northwest:

  • $1.38 billion in new capital investment;
  • between $2 million and $3 million in annual royalty payments to rural landowners;
  • between $5.8 million and $6.8 million each year in local property tax revenues;
  • nearly 1,400 construction jobs during peak construction periods;
  • roughly 80 new permanent family-wage jobs for operation and maintenance.

    The full fact sheet is available for download here, and a website with the same information can be found here. [Check out the pdf; it's the fully formatted version]

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