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Somerset County Wind Energy Study Predicts Hundreds of Jobs and Millions in Construction Activity

Jacob France Institute Study Estimates $44.4 Million in New Revenues to Somerset County

June 25, 2012
Contact: University Relations
Phone: 410.837.5739

A new Jacob France Institute study on the economic impact of a wind energy installation proposed for Somerset County estimates hundreds of construction jobs, millions of dollars in economic activity, and long-term sustainability goals that are in line with the State of Maryland's plan to generate 20 percent of its energy by renewable means by the year 2022.

The Great Bay Wind Energy Center commissioned the study by the University of Baltimore's Jacob France Institute on the economic impact of a wind energy installation proposed for Somerset County. The center, as currently proposed, calls for the installation of 65 wind turbines with a maximum generating capacity of 2,300 kilowatts each, or 149.5 megawatts in total.

JFI said the economic impact of the project would occur in two phases: the initial construction phase; and, after completion of the project, an operational and maintenance phase. The report evaluates the effects on employment, labor income, output and the fiscal effects at the county and state levels. Four separate analyses to assess the impact of both phases of the project within the two regions of analysis are included in the report, which is available here.

Major findings of the report include:

  • Based on previous installations, the estimated installed costs of the project are expected to be $273.6 million.
  • The construction phase of the project is expected to require an expenditure of $50.2 million within Somerset County. Within the county, it will generate 529 jobs, add $13.2 million to labor income and generate a total of $66.8 million in additional economic activity.
  • At the state level, 766.4 Maryland jobs will be created in the construction phase; labor income will increase by $29.2 million and the total increase in state output will be $99.5 million.
  • The ongoing operation and maintenance phase of the project will create 14.6 long-term jobs in Somerset County, add $405,572 to labor income and increase economic activity by $1.8 million in the initial year of operations. Maintenance requirements will increase as the equipment ages, so these numbers are likely to increase as well.
  • Within the state, the ongoing operation and maintenance phase of the project will create 23.1 long-term jobs, increase labor income by $1.4 million and increase economic activity by $4.6 million.
  • The increases in employment and economic activity created during the construction phase are projected to add $3.6 million to state and local tax revenues, of which $872,229 will be received by Somerset County.
  • In the operation and maintenance stage, expenditures made by the Great Bay Wind Project will ultimately generate $3.4 million in additional tax revenues per year at the state and local government level, and $2.9 million within Somerset County—projecting to $44.4 million in new tax revenues over the life of the project. (Due to limitations of the study model, the complete economic impact and tax effects are likely to be understated, JFI noted, since the multiplier effects of the taxes are not adequately captured.)
  •  The Great Bay Wind Energy Center is projected to have annual revenues of $39 million.

Adam Cohen, vice president and founder of Pioneer Green Energy, LLC, developer of the Great Bay Wind Energy Center, said, "Over the past three years, we have been working closely with Somerset County and the State of Maryland to bring this much needed investment to the region. The Great Bay Wind Energy Center is a two-fer: a major opportunity to secure jobs, investment and tax revenue in the county and across the state, and a huge step forward in achieving Maryland's clean energy goals. We are excited that this study by one of the leading economic analysis institutions in Maryland concurs with our view—this is the right project, at the right time for Somerset County and the state." 

Learn more about the Great Bay Wind Energy Center.

Learn more about Pioneer Green Energy.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the School of Law, the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Public Affairs and the Merrick School of Business.