Monday Randolph County Commissioners heard from Randolph Economic Development Corporation director, Greg Beumer about American Wind Week. First hosted the inaugural “American Wind Week” in 2017 in celebration of wind power energy emerging as America’s No. 1 source of renewable energy capacity.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, Indiana has potential to become a national leader in the wind energy industry. Indiana has been successful in attracting investment for wind energy manufacturing, with at least 15 manufacturing facilities in the state producing components for the wind industry and providing high quality jobs. The state’s wind capacity of over 2,300 MW has created additional economic benefits, including $14 million in annual state and local tax payments. Indiana’s Meadow Lake Wind Farm is now the fourth largest wind project in the U.S. with 414 wind turbines stretching across White, Jasper, and Benton Counties.
The U.S. wind industry is a major economic development driver. In addition to job creation and billions of dollars in project investment, the wind industry invests heavily in local communities, providing significant revenue in the form of property, state, and local taxes. Beumer stated that nearly $1 billion in state and local taxes have been created from the wind industry and those are in turn directed back to the rural communities.
EDP Renewables representatives Paul Cummings and Kristen Clawson were on hand as well. Clawson stated, “We are grateful to work in such forward thinking county.”
Beumer read a proclamation declaring August 11-17 to be Wind Energy Week in Randolph County. Commissioners, Mike Wickersham, Tom Chalfant and Gary Girton all signed the proclamation.
A few facts about wind energy in Indiana:
• Direct wind industry jobs in 2018: 2,001 to 3,000
• Capital investment in wind projects through 2018*: $4.9 billion
• Annual state and local tax payments by wind projects: $14 million
• Annual land lease payments*: $5 - $10 million
• Over 500 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. make products for the wind industry, from blades, towers, and turbine nacelles to raw components such as fiberglass and steel.
• Number of active manufacturing facilities in the state of Indiana: 15
• Equivalent number of Indiana homes powered by wind in 2018: 538,200.