Clean power projects across America are driving investment into local economies and creating good-paying American jobs. Wind, solar, and energy storage projects provide states and localities with critical tax revenue that helps bridge budget shortfalls and gives communities the ability to invest in their future. The tax revenue that clean energy projects bring to communities can provide enough new income to repair roads, invest in schools, and fund essential services. Additionally, land lease payments for hosting a wind, solar or battery project on property serve as a drought-proof cash crop that provides a stable income for American farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners.
Right now, wind and solar projects pay an estimated $2.8 billion a year in landowner lease payments and state and local taxes. Accelerated clean energy deployment in the U.S. will deliver even more economic benefits and bring in new revenue to communities across America. Look for no further proof than a recent report that found that renewable energy and battery storage projects are generating tens of billions of dollars in tax revenue and landowner payments in Texas, 60 percent of which benefits rural counties.
The new report, written by University of Texas Austin and IdeasSmiths’ Dr. Joshua Rhodes and released by the Advanced Power Alliance (APA), Conservative Texans for Energy Innovation and the Texas Association of Business, showcases how tax revenue and landowner payments are making an impact in Texas communities. The “Economic Impact of Renewable Energy in Rural Texas” report found:
- Over their lifetime, the current fleet of utility-scale wind and solar projects in Texas will generate between $4.7 billion and $5.7 billion in new tax revenue to local communities
- If all projects with interconnection agreements are built, existing and planned utility-scale wind and solar projects will pay between $8.1 billion and $10 billion in total tax revenue over their lifetimes
- A county in Texas could expect to receive between $9.4 million and $13.1 million in lifetime taxes (including school taxes) for a 100 megawatt (MW) solar project located in its boundaries and between $16.8 million and $20.3 million for a 100 MW wind project.
- A Texas landowner could expect to collect between $16.2 million and $33 million in payments over the lifetime of a 100 MW wind farm, depending on the length of contract and location in the state.
- A Texas landowner could expect to collect between $5.2 and $27.7 million in payments over the lifetime of a 100 MW solar farm, depending on the length of the contract and location in the state.
In addition to providing reliable and affordable domestic energy to Texans, clean power projects are generating economic opportunities to localities and landowners. As the country’s long-time clean energy leader, the Lone Star State has reaped huge benefits from wind, like tens of thousands of well-paying jobs and significant economic development in rural communities.
Investing in clean energy and transmission can empower rural America by creating new jobs and spurring billions of dollars in economic activity and in in the process, create a healthier environment with zero-emissions clean energy. This new report highlights the significant economic boost rural economies can expect as clean power growth accelerates across the country.
To learn more and download the report, visit the APA’s website.