The wind energy industry in Illinois is projected to generate $1.9 billion in economic benefits for the state over the next 25 years, according to an economic impact study of wind energy development conducted by Illinois State University’s Center for Rene“Wind energy in Illinois not only provides clean, renewable energy for the state’s energy needs, but also provides tremendous economic development benefits,” says David Loomis, director of the Center for Renewable Energy and an associate professor of economics at Illinois State University.
The study examined the direct and indirect economic benefits, including jobs, tax revenues and payments to landowners, from the 17 major wind development projects that are online around the state. Those wind farms currently generate a total of 1,118 MW of electricity.
The study found that the wind energy projects created 6,019 full-time equivalent jobs during construction periods, with a total payroll of over $306 million. They also support 292 permanent jobs in rural Illinois areas, with a total annual payroll of over $15 million.
Research for the study was funded by a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Wind energy projects benefit local economies by generating $11.4 million in annual property taxes and $4.36 million per year in extra income for Illinois landowners who lease their land to wind farm developers, according to the study. In total, wind energy will generate an economic benefit of $1.9 billion over the life of the projects.
For more information, visit renewableenergy.ilstu.edu.
SOURCE: Center for Renewable Energy