U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
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Potential Economic Impacts of Commercial Wind Power Development in North Dakota (Part 1a)


  • Analyzes the potential economic impact of the Griggs/Steele Wind Power project and the statewide impacts of developing 1,000 MW of wind energy over the next 10 years.
  • Findings:
    • Wind energy development may provide substantial economic benefits to North Dakota's rural areas and larger communities through creation of jobs, lease/royalty payments for landowners, increased tax revenues, and increased revenue through local purchase of supplies, materials, and services.

Citation: Potential Economic Impacts of Commercial Wind Power Development in North Dakota
Author(s): F. Larry Leistritz for Griggs/Steele Wind Power Development Group LLC
Report Date: 2001

Project Size: 100 MW
Number of Turbines: 71
Location: Griggs and Steele Counties , ND
Geographic Scope: North Dakota
Turbine Ownership: n/a
Type of Study: Pre-project
Timeframe of Data:

Model: North Dakota Input-Output Model (developed based on survey data from North Dakota firms and households; households are not included in the model). Model adjusted using community pull factors, which account for the types of goods and services available locally, thereby avoiding an overstatement of the secondary impacts.

Data Sources: Direct effects of wind power development estimated based on attributes of the North Dakota development scenarios compared with those reported in recent studies of wind development in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and New Mexico.

Assumptions: 1/2 of the $74,000,000 in expenditures for equipment estimated to accrue to North Dakota firms. 63% of the $100,000,000 construction expenditures expected to accrue to North Dakota firms and households. All lease payments and operations/maintenance salaries expected to accrue locally. 60% of the $262,000 other operations/maintenance costs expected to be spent locally. 626 of the indirect jobs during construction would occur locally. 26 of the indirect jobs during operations would occur locally. Income and sales taxes collected during construction period; additional $85,000 expected to accrue each year of operation from these two taxes. Property tax accrues annually. Construction occurs in 2002 or 2003. 1.2 of turbines, towers, and related components to be purchased within North Dakota. Royalties: $4,00/year/1.5 MW tower.

Special Considerations:

Jobs Construction Operations (jobs/year) Total
Direct 125    
Indirect   44  
Total 2,270    
Jobs/MW 22.7    


Income Construction Operations Total
Total   $926,000/year  


Taxes Direct Indirect Total
Income $926,000 $32,000/year $958,000
Property   $555,000/year  
Sales $1,350,000 $53,000/year $14,004,000
Total $2,276,000 $640,000/year $2,916,000

Developer Incentives:

Lease Payments: $285,000/year

Other Remuneration:

Conclusion: Benefits from the development of wind power would continue to accrue locally and throughout the state for the life of the facility.