The South’s newest wind farm, Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East, in North Carolina is a perfect example of the impact a wind farm can make on a local, rural economy. The project generated approximately 250 construction jobs and 14 permanent jobs, but these statistics just touch the surface when it comes to economic activity. The wind farm is a $400 million capital investment in Perquimans and Pasquotank Counties, and the project is expected to generate $250,000 in property tax revenues in just 2017 alone. The wind developer, Avangrid (formally Iberdrola), is now the largest taxpayer in the two counties the turbines are located in. The combination of landowner payments and local taxes add up to $1.1 million injected into the local economy a year!
Wind power is wildly popular. But, wind power hasn’t been as quick to catch on here in the south, so we get a lot of questions and comments about wind energy. Let’s clear the air on wind farms.
NREL developed the JEDI model to enable stakeholders and decision makers an easy way to ground-truth jobs and economic development potential associated with many sources of new generation construction and operation. The JEDI model is available for for wind energy, biofuels, solar energy, natural gas power plants, coal-fired power plants, hydroelectric dams, geothermal, petroleum power plants and transmission line construction. Construction impacts, cost estimates and potential tax revenue are all calculated based off of recent real-world examples. Users can tailor inputs of a proposed project by changing the project megawatt size, location and by other variables.
More than 400 South Carolina businesses delivered a letter to Governor Nikki Haley on Wednesday, asking her to call for the removal of all waters off South Carolina’s coast from consideration for offshore drilling. The letter was delivered to her office in the state capitol by a handful of small business owners, and was received [...]
The final Clean Power Plan is structured to create thousands more new jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency, with incentives to create good jobs in vulnerable communities. It recommends robust standards to ensure that the new jobs lead to quality careers. The Clean Power Plan and related initiatives also contain vital protections for coal workers and communities. The EPA and DOE have both acted to help ensure that unions, affected workers, and their communities will be treated as stakeholders whose views are heard and reflected in the state processes to create implementation plans. What’s more, the plan addresses concerns from affected unions about ensuring our power system is reliable, the timeline for compliance, and emissions reduction credits for manufacturing processes such as combined heat and power.
While the Amazon Wind Farm US East isn’t the first wind farm in the South (as many, many news reports incorrectly stated), it certainly is the largest. In 2004, the wind development company Invenergy constructed the Buffalo Mountain wind farm near Oliver Springs, Tennessee. The Tennessee Valley Authority has purchased power from the Buffalo Mountain wind farm for over a decade. The Buffalo Mountain wind farm is made up of 13 wind turbines with a total capacity of 27 megawatts; meanwhile, the new Amazon Wind Farm US East will contain 102 wind turbines with a total capacity of 208 megawatts, with an option to add another 50 turbines (100 megawatts).
New wind speeds maps released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) demonstrate the greatly increased potential for wind turbine development in Georgia with advanced turbines. As wind turbines increase in height, Georgia contains a much greater area of land viable for development. The shading on the map below represents new available land for wind development with modern turbine towers of 360 feet (110 meters) achieving a 35% capacity factor or greater. With these turbines, over 8,000 megawatts (MW) of land-based wind potential currently exists in Georgia.
The Plains and Eastern Clean Line project would connect up to 4,000 megawatts of wind power capacity to the southeast. As part of the federal Department of Energy’s Environmental Impact Statement review, the DOE estimates the socioeconomic impacts of the proposed 720-mile high voltage direct current transmission project. Job creation estimates are included in the socioeconomic impacts portions of the EIS. Based on the EIS jobs estimates, lifetime job estimates may conservatively approach tens of thousands of jobs for the Plains and Eastern Clean Line project.
This blog was written by Laurie Johnson, Chief Economist at the Climate Center of the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington DC and was originally published on May 28 via NRDC’s blog Switchboard. There they go again. Any time there’s a proposal to clean up air or water pollution, you can bet the US Chamber of Commerce will [...]
Who would you say is the most qualified entity to talk about what’s good and bad for business on the coast of the Southeastern U.S.? President Obama? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce? Maybe Governor McCrory in Raleigh, North Carolina or Governor Haley in Columbia, South Carolina, or Congressmen who live hundreds of miles from the [...]