Study Quantifies Economic Opportunity for Bourbon and Crawford Counties if Jayhawk Wind Farm Is Constructed
Girard, KS – December 12, 2019 – According to a new economic impact analysis, Bourbon and Crawford Counties will gain an estimated $27.2 million total in new revenues over the first 25 years of the Jayhawk Wind project, if it is constructed.
Apex Clean Energy, the company developing Jayhawk Wind, estimates that, if built, about 80% of the project’s turbines will be located in Bourbon County, generating $11.4 million in new revenues for that jurisdiction. Crawford County would host the remaining 20% and receive $3.9 million.
Moreover, the project is expected to create about 318 jobs in the Bourbon County and Crawford County region, generating about $15.7 million in new earnings for local workers during construction. Once the project is operational, it will create as many as 30 new, long-term local jobs. These new long-term jobs will result in earnings of about $1.2 million annually, once the wind farm is operational. About seven of these jobs will be direct hires of the wind farm, while the remaining jobs will be generated by local businesses that grow as a result of Jayhawk Wind’s operation.
New tax revenues from the project will also benefit local education. Beginning in 2032 and through 2046:
- Uniontown Unified School District (USD) 235 will receive over $387,000 annually, totaling $5.8 million;
- Girard USD 248 will receive $203,000 annually, totaling over $3 million;
- Erie USD 101 will receive $38,000 annually, totaling over $572,000; and
- Fort Scott Community College will receive $256,000 annually, totaling over $3.8 million.
Existing local businesses will win too. The $250 million investment that Jayhawk Wind represents will benefit a wide array of area businesses, including hotels, restaurants, professional service firms, and construction supply companies. Bourbon and Crawford Counties alone will see over $36.2 million in new economic output during construction.
“Wind farms create numerous economic benefits that continue to last for decades,” said Dr. David Loomis, Illinois State University professor of economics and co-founder of the Center for Renewable Energy, who conducted the analysis.
The U.S. wind industry has grown at a rapid pace since 2006, due in part to new, efficient technologies and demand by corporate buyers increasing demand for wind energy. Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and General Motors are among the corporations purchasing wind energy produced from Illinois wind farms.
“Demand for wind energy continues to grow due to low, long-term, stable pricing, which protects against future price volatility,” said Dr. Loomis. “In recent years, investment in wind energy development has only been slowed by uncertain government policies.”
“Apex Clean Energy is proud to be a part of an industry bringing economic opportunity to rural America, which has not always benefited equally from our nation’s recent economic growth,” said Jade Scheele, Apex Clean Energy senior development manager.
A copy of the Jayhawk Economic Impact Analysis can be found here.
About the author: Dr. David G. Loomis is professor of economics at Illinois State University and co-founder of the Center for Renewable Energy. He has over 10 years of experience in the renewable energy field and has performed economic analyses at the county, region, state, and national levels for utility-scale wind and solar generation. Dr. Loomis is a widely recognized expert and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine, the Associated Press, and the Chicago Tribune and has appeared on CNN. Dr. Loomis has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles in leading energy policy and economics journals. Dr. Loomis received his PhD in economics from Temple University in 1995.