Benefits of Wind for Bee County, Texas
Texas leads the nation in installed wind capacity with over 25,629 megawatts. And there are more than 13,672 actively-producing wind turbines located here. The Lone Star State is also home to the greatest number of new wind projects under construction, with an additional 7,619 MW on the way.
So what does that mean for us? Texans are ranked in the top ten states for lowest electricity costs, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That is due in large part to the significant amount of power being generated by renewable energy, like wind and solar.
The U.S. Department of Energy released a report in 2018 that shows the cost of developing new wind projects is dropping, even as new turbine designs are increasing the amount of power generated by each turbine. As a result, wind farms can be built and operated for less than any other form of power generation.
Wind power purchase agreement prices are at all-time historical lows across the nation. This means the cost of electricity is dropping too.
Forty-six clean energy companies call Texas home. These companies support more than 25,000 jobs in the state of Texas. In addition to local Texas entities, national and global corporations with a presence in Texas are also tapping into our great state’s resources for renewable energy.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wind turbine technicians rank among the fastest growing jobs in America. Texas is number one in wind energy, so that equates to a lot of job opportunity in the Lone Star State.
When a wind investment comes to a town, additional workforce training and construction jobs are created before the development can begin. From road improvements to concrete pad placements, the wind industry needs the talent and skills of Bee County to harness the power of Texas wind energy.
Jobs being created both directly and indirectly to ultimately construct and maintain a wind farm have positive economic benefits for everyone in Bee County.
Investing in Texas’ greatest resource: Our students. Our future.
Texans see substantial benefit from the $237 million paid in taxes to state and local governments from the wind industry.
These tax dollars will help Pettus and Pawnee ISDs and Coastal Bend College invest in their own futures, by improving educational curriculum, technology and facilities in order to better equip future generations. Improved learning environments lead to more engagement in the classroom, better-supported educators and strengthened communities.
According to “The Economic Value of Renewable Energy to Texas” Report (Fall 2018), $59.7 million in taxes were paid to Texas school districts between 2013-2018. And in 2017, renewables paid $103.4 million to schools in payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT), under special agreements with the Texas school districts.
Texas has more wind farms than any other state in the country and over 100 Texas school districts benefit.
These tax dollars aren’t limited to bettering our schools though; more tax money also means improved roads and infrastructure for Bee County, as well as more funding for our local emergency services teams. Better funded Emergency First Response teams means safer personnel, for a safer Bee County.
These economic benefits are not short-term. In fact, 30-year contracts have been signed. These tax dollars and land lease payments to local Bee County families are long-term sources of income, generating lasting change.
Including Bee County, 90 counties in Texas are experiencing the first-hand benefits from the renewable energy industry. A combination of both wind and solar energy production using Texas’ natural resources drives positive change in Texas agriculture across the board — for farmers, ranchers and all their families. Texas landowners received $70 million in lease payments last year. That’s money in the bank, being cycled back in to rural community economies, like Bee County.
Renewable energy is changing the future for Bee County. Texas continues to harness its natural resources, generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of 7,283,900 homes in 2018 alone. We are home to 46 manufacturing facilities, and our great state also reaps the benefits of the $46.5 billion in capital investments allowing wind energy to generate 15.9% of the state’s total electricity.
Local Property Values and Wind Farms
An investment in a wind farm is an investment in the Beeville community. In fact, with the millions of dollars invested in a wind farm, Bee County will benefit from a new, stable tax revenue source. This means Bee County can repair roads and bridges and support emergency services and the school districts can invest in new facilities — all without raising taxes on citizens.
All of this serves to raise the value of property in communities across Texas.
Texas A&M University – Real Estate Center released its 2019 study on the impacts of wind farms on local property values. The study found:
- Academic literature has shown no statistical evidence of adverse property value effects due to views of, or proximity to, wind turbines.
- Various statistical methodologies, datasets and regions have been considered.
- “Neither the view of wind energy facilities nor the distance of the home to those facilities was found to have any consistent, measurable, and significant effect on the selling prices of nearby homes.”
- Showed homes’ property values increased due to the facilities driving economic investment and tax revenue which benefited all surrounding property owners.
Texas Wind Energy is a 30-year stable source of revenue that funds infrastructure priorities in Bee County, further saving tax payers’ money.
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