Editor’s note: This blog post comes from the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) Into the Wind blog. It was written by John Hensley, AWEA’s lead on industry data and analysis. Check out AWEA’s other blog postings here.
By now it should come as no surprise that American wind power spurs important economic growth in all 50 states, especially in the rural interior of the country. Each year, the industry invests an average of over $14 billion in new wind projects and pays landowners more than $267 million for hosting wind turbines on their property – not to mention employing over 100,000 Americans.
But there’s a lesser-told story that’s just as important, and a new report sheds light on this neglected subset of wind benefits.
New analysis from Moody’s highlights the ‘windfalls to local governments across [the] U.S.’ that growth in wind energy supplies, mainly by substantially boosting local tax bases and revenue in rural areas.
“What we’re seeing is wind farms generate new operating revenues, lower the tax burden for local residents,” Moody’s analyst Frank Mamo told Reuters. “In many cases, local governments are using this new money to address what was a growing backlog of deferred capital expenditures.”
Consider this: 10 years ago just a handful of states and a few hundred counties had wind farms. In the time since, wind has grown quickly, adding 64 GW of new wind power capacity, and today, there are wind farms in 41 states and over 400 counties. The U.S. now has enough installed wind capacity to power 27 million American homes. This expansion has propelled tax base growth and created new tax revenue for state and local governments hosting the wind projects.
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