Tag Archives: economic benefits of wind energy development

Wind farm produces jobs, farm income, tax revenue

By Nick Gebhart, Norfolk Daily News

RURAL RANDOLPH — Standing tall here among the crops and pastures of western Wayne County may be the future of energy production in Nebraska. The farmlands here near Randolph are the site of the Sholes Wind Energy Center, a 76-square-mile wind farm with 71 turbines that will generate 160 megawatts when the facility comes online later this year. Elected officials, including Lt. Gov. Mike Foley and Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning, joined media and various environmental and agricultural organizations and businesses for a firsthand look at the wind farm Thursday afternoon. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Wind powers big opportunity in rural America, by Senator Chuck Grassley, Daily Iowegian

#AmericanWindWeek: Wind powers opportunities for job creation

By Hunter Hollander, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

A record 114,000 Americans now work in wind. In the last five years, the country has added over 64,000 wind jobs, and right now wind turbine technician is the second fastest growing job in the country according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Over 57,000 wind turbines churn our electricity across the U.S., and each one is the product of a skilled workforce consisting of wind technicians, field managers, engineers, warranty teams, construction workers, control room operators, trained analysts and many other positions. Many wind jobs can also be found at more than 500 U.S. factories that build wind-related parts and materials. Wind is creating next-generation manufacturing jobs in long-time factory strongholds – in Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania alone, there are 123 manufacturing facilities.
Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Report: Nebraska led nation in wind energy growth

Matt Olberding, Lincoln Journal Star

There’s been a lot of debate over wind energy projects in Nebraska over the past year, but there’s no debate over the fact that the sector is growing rapidly in the state. In fact, according to a report released Tuesday, no other state saw more growth in wind power than Nebraska. The AWEA said Nebraska wind energy capacity grew 39% last year compared with 2017. By contrast, the nation as a whole averaged 8% growth. Read more here.

“Wind Rainbow” – AWEA’s Free Use Wind Energy Image Gallery

Additional Recommended Reading

AWEA Annual Market Report: Top 11 wind power trends in 2018by John Hensley, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Today, AWEA released its U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report, Year Ending 2018. It’s a historic time for American Wind power—our industry has never been busier. Robust demand, record low costs, innovative turbine technology, and consumer preferences are propelling wind to new heights. Strong wind project construction, a maturing manufacturing sector, and the increasing need for wind turbine technicians and operators mean wind jobs grew 8 percent in 2018—a record 114,000 men and women now work in wind.

Nebraska Fact Sheet – AWEA

Nebraska is a national leader in wind resource potential. Nebraska is one of the top states in the country for potential wind energy generation, with a technical potential of approximately 465,000 megawatts (MW) according to NREL. Nebraska now has 1,972 MW of installed wind power and ranks 14th in the nation for installed capacity. Harnessing more of Nebraska’s wind potential could make the state a powerhouse for the wind industry while providing savings for electricity customers.

Wind Projects as of 4Q 2018

  • Installed wind capacity: 1,972 MW
    » State rank for installed wind capacity: 14th
  • Number of wind turbines: 974
    » State rank for number of wind turbines: 17th
  • Wind projects online: 25 (Projects larger than 10 MW: 18)
  • Wind capacity under construction: 334 MW
  • Wind capacity in advanced development: 796 MW

Wind Energy In Nebraska Fact Sheet

Checking in on the Nebraska wind boom

By Curtis Walter, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Nebraska is in the midst of a wind energy boom–it’s one of seven states on track to double
its installed wind capacity in the coming years. Like many rural communities across the U.S., this has brought wide-ranging benefits to the state.

“Wind energy, the fastest-growing source of electricity in the U.S., is transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the federal government gave land to homesteaders 150 years ago,” the Omaha World-Herald reported. “As commodity prices threaten to reach decade lows and farmers struggle to meet debt payments, wind has saved family farms across a wide swath of the heartland. Read more here.

As crop prices fluctuate, wind turbine income becomes critical for farmers

By Sarina Weiss, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

2.1 million farms cover our country’s rural landscapes, and 99 percent of them are family-owned and operated. And now, a growing number of them host wind turbines. Increasingly, the extra income from wind projects helps keep these farms in the family and the family on the farm, even in uncertain times.

In 2017 alone, Texas landowners received more than $60 million in lease payments. Across the country, wind projects paid farmers and ranchers an estimated $267 million.

Read more here.

AWEA YouTube Video featured in Sarina Weiss’ article: Wind projects: keeping the family farm in the family

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST: RECENT USDA NEWS RELEASE
USDA Streamlines Application Process for Rural Energy for America Program and Business & Industry Program Loan Guarantees

Details shared on Sholes wind farm proposal

By Jerry Guenther, Norfolk Daily News

Philip Clement, project director for renewable development at NextEra, said his company will look toward Wayne State and Northeast Community College for employees to be trained in the industry. “That’s the goal, hopefully to develop the skill set in the local areas so we can hire these people to work at the wind farm and keep the people in Wayne,” Clement said. He said the economic benefits include that almost $600,000 in property tax revenues will be generated annually to Wayne County, making it the largest taxpaying entity in the county. The project is estimated to be in operation for about 30 years.

Click here to read the entire article and some of the answers provided during the meeting’s Q&A.

Photo: Dr. Chuck Parker, a Wayne State College professor of economic development, serves as moderator and explains the ground rules for a public meeting Wednesday evening at the Wayne Fire Hall. Before the meeting ended, nearly all 150 chairs were filled along with some people standing. Credit: Norfolk Daily News / Jerry Guenther

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