Economic Impact of Wind Energy Development in Illinois

Loomis, David G.; Hayden, Jared; Noll, Sarah; Payne, James E.
June 2016
Journal of Business Valuation & Economic Loss Analysis;Jun2016, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p3
Academic Journal
A number of factors have contributed to the rapid growth of wind power capacity in Illinois from 50 MW in 2003 to 3,334.91 MW in 2012, including: federal and state policies, energy security, energy costs, environmental benefits, economic development opportunities, and state-specific factors. One key policy driver in Illinois was the passage of the Illinois Power Agency Act in 2007, which included a renewable portfolio standard of 25 % by 2025, 75 % of the renewable energy resources employed to meet the renewable portfolio standard were designated to wind energy. This study analyzes the economic impacts from the 23 wind projects in Illinois that exceed 50 MW of capacity. These wind projects account for 3,334.91 MW or 99 % of the state's wind energy generating capacity. Using the JEDI input-output model, the 23 largest wind farms in Illinois created approximately 19,047 full-time equivalent jobs during construction periods with a total payroll of over $1.1 billion. In addition, approximately 814 permanent jobs in rural Illinois areas with a total annual payroll of nearly $48 million are supported. Furthermore, wind farms generated roughly $28.5 million in annual property taxes for local economies as well as $13 million annually in extra income for Illinois landowners who lease their land to wind farm developers. The lifetime total economic benefit of the 23 wind farm projects is estimated at $5.98 billion.


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