Press Release – New Study Highlights Wind’s Economic Benefits in Kansas

New study shows wind energy creates jobs for workers, economic
benefits for landowners, and downward pressure on electricity rates

A new study released today by Polsinelli Shughart in partnership with the Kansas Energy Information Network demonstrates major economic benefits created by wind energy projects in Kansas, including more than 12,000 jobs.

“Wind works for Kansas, creating jobs, revenue for landowners, and downward pressure on electricity rates for manufacturers, businesses, and consumers,” said Jeff Clark, executive director of The Wind Coalition. “Kansas’ Renewable Portfolio Standard has helped diversify Kansas’ energy mix, providing those who rely on affordable power insulation from the volatility of fuel costs. Even with current low natural gas prices, the study clearly shows wind provides a lower electricity price for Kansas consumers compared to other peaking generation sources.”

The study shows more than 12,000 jobs have been created because of the recent construction of 19 wind farms in Kansas.  Nearly three-quarters of these jobs are permanent and tied to the operation of wind farms and support industries.  Economic benefits to landowners over the 20-year life of existing projects exceeds $273 million, and community contributions plus donation agreements exceed $208 million over the 20-year lifespan of agreements.

Clark lauded the report for capturing the great benefits wind brings to rural America, “For rural Kansans wind energy development is a blessing.  New revenue for landowners is helping keep farmers and ranchers on their land and helping to keep rural life and communities economically viable.”

Kansas’ Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) sets a mandatory minimum that 10 percent of all power owned or purchased by every regulated public utility come from renewable generation for the years 2011 through 2015.  By the end of 2012, new wind generation for the years 2011 and 2012 will nearly double Kansas’ installed wind capacity, which is directly correlated to the passage of the RPS in 2009.

“The Sunflower State has one of the best wind resources in the nation, and the leadership in Kansas should be applauded for harvesting the economic benefits of wind in a thoughtful manner that has helped control electricity rates,” said Clark. “Wind development can help lead Kansas to economic growth, job creation, and affordable energy for a thriving economy. Kansas is living proof.”

Download a copy of the study here: