NewEnergyNews: THE LOCAL BENEFITS FROM SOLAR POWER PLANTS

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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    THE LOCAL BENEFITS FROM SOLAR POWER PLANTS

    Solar Projects Benefit Counties

    Keely Wachs, November 26, 2012 (BrightSource Energy)

    “…[Contrary to the Los Angeles Times misinformed article questioning the economic benefits of utility-scale solar projects on desert counties] the counties where utility-scale solar projects are being built are benefitting significantly in direct and economic investments, tax revenues and job creation…[O]ur $2.2 billion Ivanpah project is more than 70% complete and is employing more than 2,000 workers…At its peak, the project employed more than 2,100 workers, and is estimated to generate $250 million in construction wages and $650 million in total wages over its 30-year life…

    “More than 80 percent of these workers are from the local union halls in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties…[and many] were unemployed for years following the economic downturn in 2008…The Ivanpah project is also estimated to generate approximately $300 million in local and state tax revenues over its 30-year life…[I]ndirect benefits to local businesses are estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars. The Ivanpah project also…[contributed] to High Desert universities and philanthropic organizations…job training opportunities, youth organizations, veteran’s services and more.”

    “As a solar developer, we understand that our projects will have impacts on local infrastructure, such as roads and emergency services…The LA Times highlights one such project – Hidden Hills Solar in Inyo County…[It] points out that just five percent of the construction jobs at Hidden Hills would be filled by Inyo County residents…[T]he primary reason…is because…Inyo County has [only] 18,000 residents…the project could put all of the county’s unemployed qualified construction workers back to work…

    “…[An independent California Energy Commission report assessed two scenarios and found] the net fiscal impacts are significantly beneficial to the county. Scenario 1 results in a positive net fiscal impact of $61.1 million and Scenario 2 leads to a positive net fiscal impact of $88.2 million…”

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