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RNP Press Release
January 29, 2007

Wind Power Brings Major Economic Windfall to Rural Communities

Wind power development in the Pacific Northwest between October 2005 and October 2006 brought nearly $1.4 billion in investment and more than 1400 jobs to the region, according to a new fact sheet released today by the Renewable Northwest Project. Entitled “Wind Power and Economic Development: Real Examples from the Pacific Northwest,” the new fact sheet describes the variety of direct economic benefits resulting from a single year’s worth of wind power development in the region. The fact sheet was released today at the 7th Annual Harvesting Clean Energy Conference in Boise, ID.

 
County officials in Union County, Oregon are anxiously awaiting construction to begin at the 104 megawatt Elk Horn Wind Farm, located just a two hour drive away from the conference. “The Elk Horn Wind Project will create a new infusion of revenue to our county that will be crucial to the continuation of critical county services,” said former Union County Commissioner, John Lamoreau. “It is estimated that our county will receive $10 million over the next twenty years from just this one project, and it’s construction and operation will bring hundreds of jobs to the area.”
 
These seven new wind farms, including the 64.5 MW Wolverine Creek Wind Farm near Idaho Falls, ID, are now generating 954 megawatts of new wind power capacity, enough clean, homegrown renewable energy to power 238,500 average Northwestern homes. Collectively, these seven wind farms have brought the following direct economic benefits to the Pacific Northwest:
  • $1.38 billion in new capital investment in the region;
  • between $2 million and $3 million in annual royalty payments to rural landowners;
  • between $5.8 million and $6.8 million each year in new local property tax revenues;
  • nearly 1400 construction jobs during peak construction periods; and
  • roughly 80 new permanent family-wage jobs for operation and maintenance.
 
“These projects are further evidence that we can use our homegrown renewable resources to create jobs, generate revenue, and bolster our energy independence," says Troy Gagliano, Senior Policy Associate with Renewable Northwest Project.
 
The 7th Annual Harvesting Clean Energy Conference brings together energy experts, Northwest agricultural leaders, local farmers, ranchers and interested citizens to discuss the policies and technologies that are bringing such real economic benefits to the rural Northwest.
 
The new fact sheet can be found online at: http://www.rnp.org//Resources/windecodev.html
 
 
Renewable Northwest Project is a regional nonprofit advocacy organization promoting responsible development of wind, solar and geothermal resources in the Pacific Northwest.
 
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For more information contact:
Troy Gagliano or Jesse Jenkins
Renewable Northwest Project
(503) 223-4544
Wind and Sun -- Montana's Next Economic Boom

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