Reports: One wind farm can add more than 1,000 jobs, revenue for communities

A 250 MW wind farm in the U.S. creates 1,079 jobs and can add tens of millions of dollars in new taxes and other benefits to the community where it’s located, according to two new reports from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

The jobs are created at 14 different steps throughout the process of building the project, according to the report, “American Wind Farms: Breaking Down the Benefits from Planning to Production,” including positions in manufacturing, construction engineering and management and other areas.

Another report, “At Wind Speed: How the U.S. Wind Industry is Rapidly Growing Our Local Economies,” says wind farms also generate new taxes, lease payments to landowners and economic development revenues along with new jobs.

Currently, wind farms generate about 50,000 MW of energy and employ about 75,000 American workers. However, many in the industry say that progress may be threatened by Congress not renewing the Production Tax Credit (PTC), which is set to expire at the end of the year. The Senate is reportedly expected to take up the PTC soon.

“Every time a wind farm gets built, American jobs are created,” said NRDC policy advocate Cai Steger, co-author of the report. “These reports show what the PTC has done for the wind industry – and why its essential that it is extended.”

Non-construction businesses account for an estimated 557 jobs. They include 432 workers in manufacturing, 80 in planning and development, 18 in sales and distribution and 27 in operations and maintenance.

Construction jobs add another 522 jobs to a typical wind farm. These workers are spread between three categories, with 273 working on on-site civil works, such as roads, and foundations; 202 working on the installation of the wind turbines and 47 working on on-site electrical work, such as grid connection.

Additionally, the report profiles American companies that could participate at every one of the 14 steps of the wind farm.

To read the report “American Wind Farms,” click here. To read “At Wind Speed,” click here.

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