NewEnergyNews: A JOB FOR EVERY 2 MEGAWATTS OF WIND

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    Thursday, October 18, 2012

    A JOB FOR EVERY 2 MEGAWATTS OF WIND

    Wind propels more than energy in S.D.; Study: Every added megawatt means $11,000 more in personal income, 0.5 jobs

    Cody Winchester, October 7, 2012 (Argus Leader)

    “Wind energy projects have provided a significant economic boost to counties in wind-rich states such as South Dakota, according to a new federal study…[of] economic data from 1,009 counties in 12 states with high wind-resource potential — Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and New Mexico.

    “Controlling for other factors, their analysis found that each megawatt of installed wind power led to an additional $11,000 in personal income and 0.5 jobs per county during the time period studied…Put another way, wind energy projects in these counties led to a median increase in personal income of 0.2 percent and a median increase in employment of 0.4 percent.”

    “The economic benefits can come in the form of direct employment during construction and operation, lease payments to landowners, demand for local goods and services, tax payments and other spending…The study…is unique because it evaluates the county-level economic benefits of actual wind projects rather than simply estimating those effects, as other research has done…

    “The results are not generalizable outside of the 12-state study region…and the methods used cannot determine the exact number of jobs and income generated by wind development in specific counties…[but the study by researchers from the USDA Economic Research Service, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory] highlights the promise of wind power…”

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