A new report illustrates wind's enormous impact on the Texas economy – and what's likely if the state continues to display leadership in wind energy.
The report, ‘A Wind Vision For New Growth in Texas,’ finds that wind energy can not only supply more than 37% of Texas's electricity needs by 2030, but will also generate added economic benefits. In fact, findings indicate that rural Texas landowners would be paid by wind farm owners over $145 million in lease payments a year by 2030. Additionally, revenue generated by property taxes are figured to balloon to more than $345 million.
The report, released by the American Wind Energy Association and the Wind Energy Foundation, uses data from the U.S. Department of Energy's recently revamped ‘Wind Vision: A New Era For Wind Power in the United States.’
Across the country, over 380,000 well-paying jobs can be created by wind, meeting the 2030 scenario – up from 73,000 full-time jobs today. That includes supporting 142,000 manufacturing jobs by 2030 – up from around the nearly 20,000 wind manufacturing jobs today.
The new report highlights several other wind power success stories in the state:
- Pattern Energy owned and operated wind farms Panhandle Wind 1 and 2 have been an economic boon for Carson County, Texas. The projects will inject more than $200 million into the local communities during the first 25 years of operation.
- Georgetown, Texas, became one of the largest municipally-owned utilities in the U.S. to supply its customers with 100% wind and solar power -Â primarily to cut costs for its customers.
- Broadwind Energy employs 250 Texas workers to build wind towers and turbines. Broadwind has produced more than 500 towers for wind power projects in the region.
Upgrading the state's transmission resources will result in additional benefits, also featured in the report. The completion of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission lines a year ago plays a critical role in opening up Texas's world-class wind resources to development. That success will soon be replicated in other parts of the Plains and the Midwest, which are following suit with new major transmission upgrades.
Up to 17,000 jobs are supported by wind power in Texas, including well-paying manufacturing jobs at 46 factories producing wind power parts and supplies around the state. Wind energy has already attracted over $26 billion in capital investment to Texas, and rural landowners currently receive $42.5 million a year in land lease payments, the report finds.