Wind energy industry has invested more than $6.1 billion in wind farm development and construction in the past ten years.
OKLAHOMA CITY – A new study commissioned by The Wind Coalition Oklahoma office found that the wind energy industry in Oklahoma has invested more than $6 billion in wind farm construction and contributed more than $1 billion to the production of goods and services in Oklahoma and more than $340 million in labor income to the state.
“Wind energy is no longer ‘alternative’ energy,” said Curt Roggow, The Wind Coalition Oklahoma director. “It has become a mainstream, reliable and cost-effective source of energy for the people of Oklahoma.”
“The Statewide Economic Impact of Wind Energy Development in Oklahoma,” compiled by independent consulting firm Economic Impact Group, LLC (EIG), shows that wind industry project construction and operating activities from 2003 to 2012 in Oklahoma has created:
More than $1 billion in Oklahoma production of goods and services
More than $340 million in labor income
More than 1,600 direct full-time jobs
More than 4,000 total jobs including manufacturing and support industries
More than $1.8 billion of economic activity during the first 20 year contracts
“In addition, wind farm developers invested more than $6 billion during the development and construction of wind farms during the wind industry’s first decade in Oklahoma,” said Russell Evans, principal and co-founder of Economic Impact Group. “The property improvements made by developers created a tax base that will provide more than $43 million in property taxes annually to Oklahoma municipalities and school districts following the property tax abatement period. These projects provide more than $22 million annually in payments to local landowners and approximately $15 million in direct wages to local workers.”
During wind farm construction phases, developers spent more than $6 billion, of which $442 million was spent directly within the state of Oklahoma.
“With 26 active wind farms in our state, Oklahoma is now ranked sixth in the country for the amount of wind energy generated for consumers. That’s enough energy to power nearly 770,000 homes every year,” Roggow said. “As this industry grows, it is important to understand the economic impact wind energy has on Oklahoma now and the potential it has to meet our future energy and economic needs. This data will be essential for policy makers and elected officials to understand the importance wind energy has in our state, and to forecast its potential impact.”
Oklahoma wind energy projects range in capacity from 40 to 300 megawatts, with the average facility incorporating 68 turbines to produce 130 megawatts of energy. These wind farms represent more than 3,000 megawatts of electricity generation capacity in Oklahoma.
“Oklahoma possesses a considerable wind resource, the benefits of which accrue beyond lower energy prices to consumers,” Roggow said. “Wind development in the state has demonstrated measurable economic benefits both directly to the communities where wind farms operated and throughout the state.”
Authors of the report are Kyle D. Dean and Russell R. Evans.
The full EIG report can be found at EIG – Oklahoma Wind Study – 26 March 2014
About Economic Impact Group
Economic Impact Group (EIG) provides economic consulting services to public and private entities for a variety of needs. From computer models of local economies to econometric forecasts, EIG provides the technical expertise needed to enhance the success and visibility of an organization. For more information, please visit www.economicimpactgroup.com.