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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The Economic Benefits of Wind Farm Development in Vermont


  • Estimates the economic impact of producing 10% of Vermont's electric energy from wind energy over a 10-year period.
  • Estimates a capital expenditure and the resulting positive economic impact during the development, construction, and operations phases on jobs, earnings, landowner revenue, property tax, business tax, income tax, and sales tax. Includes direct, indirect, and induced impacts.
  • Concludes that these wind installations would help spur rural economic development, provide stability in power costs, and possibly attract tourists.

Citation: The Economic Benefits of Wind Farm Development in Vermont (PDF 45 KB) Download Adobe Acrobat
Author(s): Prepared by: Doug Hoffer for Renewable Energy Vermont
Report Date: Oct. 2002

Project Size: 228 MW
Number of Turbines: 152
Location: VT
Geographic Scope: 6 locations to be determined, but may include Searsburg, Mount Equinox in Manchester, East Haven in the Northeast Kingdom
Turbine Ownership: n/a
Type of Study: Prospective
Timeframe of Data: 10 Years

Model: RIMS II

Data Sources: U.S. Commerce Department multipliers for Vermont were applied to the relevant industries to determine the expected changes in job creation and earnings; net state taxes calculated using data from the state Tax Department, the average annual wage for each FTE job, and a program created for the Joint Fiscal Office.

Assumptions: Net state taxes: assumed for joint returns that both adults work, have a total income of $60,000 and have 2 children. Sales tax data: the Consumer Expenditure Study used to calculate data. Cost of installed turbine (including raodways, power lines and development costs): $2.25 million per turbine. Aggregate cost of project: $342 million (2002 dollars). Development/permitting phase: 5 years. Installation phase: 7 years. Professional services and much of the electrical and mechanical equipment can be purchased in Vermont; ideally local lenders. Expenditures inflated annually at 2.5%. Sales tax data from year one. Annual sale of 600,000 MW at 5.6 cents/kWh is assumed. Lease payments are assumed to be 8% of gross revenues. Property taxes calculated as 6.5% of gross revenues. Tax profit of 9% assumed for annual state tax payments.

Special Considerations: Report analyzes the economic benefits of meeting 10% of Vermont's electric needs from wind power with a 10-year development period. Construction jobs and income include development phase and therefore the number of jobs is an average of the number of jobs created each year over the 10 year development period.

Jobs Construction Operations (jobs/year) Total
Direct   40  
Induced   20  
Total 440    
Jobs/MW 1.93    


Income Construction Operations Total
Direct   $1,900,000/year  
Indirect   $1,300,000/year  
Induced   $3,300,000/year  
Total   $6,500,000/year  


Taxes Direct Indirect Total
Local/State     $500,000/year
Income     $107,000-$245,000/year
Property     $2,000,000/year
Sales     $80,000/year
Total     $2,687,000-$2,825,000/year

Developer Incentives: n/a

Lease Payments: $2,700,000/year

Other Remuneration: n/a

Conclusion: n/a