CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused
website
 in the world. Subscribe today!


Clean Power

Published on February 24th, 2008 | by Carol Gulyas

15

Wind Boom Creates Rural Jobs in Texas

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

February 24th, 2008 by  

348538380_7abc7dbf2e1.jpg

They say everything is bigger in Texas and that certainly applies to the giant windmills that have replaced oil derricks in the rural area of Sweetwater, in Nolan County. According to the New York Times, the towers stand 20 stories high and the turbine blades are as long as a football field, and farmers can earn $500 per month for each turbine they allow built on their land. Texas is now the largest producer of wind power in the United States, with $700 million in investment injected into wind projects in January alone, enough to power 100,000 homes.

But even bigger news to those who would like to see some attention paid to America’s rural economic health, is the impact that these wind farms are having on the rural economy. Property values have doubled, teens are staying in the area after graduation to work in the growing number of wind power jobs, and the downtown area is in a state of renewal.

“Since the wind boom began a few years ago, the total value of property here in Nolan County has doubled, and the county judge, Tim Fambrough, estimated it would increase an additional 25 percent this year. County property taxes are going down, home values are going up and the county has extra funds to remodel the courthouse and improve road maintenance…Wind companies are remodeling abandoned buildings, and new stores, hotels and restaurants have opened around this old railroad town.” –Clifford Kraus, New York Times

But this rural revival is in danger of an early death unless Congress extends the federal renewable energy tax credits that have helped fuel wind energy growth. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates that over 116,000 U.S. jobs and nearly $19 billion in U.S. investment could be lost in just one year if the tax credits are not renewed by Congress. These jobs are in the areas hardest hit in today’s economy: construction and manufacturing. Concerned citizens should contact their elected representatives to encourage them to act to extend the federal renewable energy tax credits.

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.



Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

Tags:


About the Author

Carol Gulyas is a leader in the renewable energy community in Illinois, where she serves as VP of the Board of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. Recently she co-founded EcoAchievers -- a provider of online education for the renewable energy and sustainable living community. She spent 18 years in the direct marketing industry in New York and Chicago, and is currently a teaching librarian at Columbia College Chicago. Carol grew up in a small town in central Indiana, then lived in the Pacific Northwest, Lima, Peru, and New York City. She is inspired by reducing energy consumption through the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green building technology.



  • http://www.apartamente-vanzare.ro vanzare apartamente

    This is a proof that clean energy is a positive phenomenon for both nature and the economy

  • http://www.apartamente-vanzare.ro vanzare apartamente

    This is a proof that clean energy is a positive phenomenon for both nature and the economy

  • http://www.eco-trees.org Mike

    I hope that each city from U.S. to have green jobs.

  • http://www.eco-trees.org Mike

    I hope that each city from U.S. to have green jobs.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Tye

    wind energy is a line of work i would like to get into i dont have a college degree other than completion of the fire academey, but i didnt really care for the emt side of the job. I dont know where to start or who to contact i am willing to move cause there is no wind turbines in this area of Texas. If somebody could give me some direction or know any one who may be hiring i would greatly appreciate. I see the direction this is going and the demand for it. I want to be apart of it.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Tye

    wind energy is a line of work i would like to get into i dont have a college degree other than completion of the fire academey, but i didnt really care for the emt side of the job. I dont know where to start or who to contact i am willing to move cause there is no wind turbines in this area of Texas. If somebody could give me some direction or know any one who may be hiring i would greatly appreciate. I see the direction this is going and the demand for it. I want to be apart of it.

  • Elaine Starkey

    and now Nolan County judge Tim Fambrough is pushing very hard to get Teneska Trailblazer Energy , a coal-fired steam electric plant, to be located in Nolan County.

  • Elaine Starkey

    and now Nolan County judge Tim Fambrough is pushing very hard to get Teneska Trailblazer Energy , a coal-fired steam electric plant, to be located in Nolan County.

  • Uncle B

    Gotta love Texans! This time they are up before the early bird, and they have a head start on the enterprise that will pave the way for a new American future. If the U.S. had chosen to be a moral people, and leaving Iraqi oil alone, and following Al Gore, decided to develop the South Western deserts, with the technology of the times – solar/thermal-molten sodium – electricity installations, for the same amount of money as that war cost, ($650 Billion), today, we would be tapping into the largest, renewable, sustainable, energy source the world has ever known. It would have paid every energy bill in the U.S.A. for maintenance fees only – FOREVER! It would be equivalent to an oil field that can NEVER run dry! Low cost electric power, and storeable hydrogen gasoline replacement from the electricity, for all!

    After the millions of murders, and $650 billions of dollars, borrowed from our children’s futures and pissed away, with thousands of our own and others maimed and disfigured for life, millions of families utterly destroyed, ours and theirs, we are no closer to Iraqi oil production than the Iraqis are!

    The next time you hear a blithering idiot spoiled brat, drunken, drug addicted, sociopath, rich Arabic saber dancing daddie’s boy oilman, stand at a microphone and threaten YOUR safety with someone ELSE’S weapons, remember what you lost America, remember, and weep! (also see http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=a-solar-grand-plan)

  • Uncle B

    Gotta love Texans! This time they are up before the early bird, and they have a head start on the enterprise that will pave the way for a new American future. If the U.S. had chosen to be a moral people, and leaving Iraqi oil alone, and following Al Gore, decided to develop the South Western deserts, with the technology of the times – solar/thermal-molten sodium – electricity installations, for the same amount of money as that war cost, ($650 Billion), today, we would be tapping into the largest, renewable, sustainable, energy source the world has ever known. It would have paid every energy bill in the U.S.A. for maintenance fees only – FOREVER! It would be equivalent to an oil field that can NEVER run dry! Low cost electric power, and storeable hydrogen gasoline replacement from the electricity, for all!

    After the millions of murders, and $650 billions of dollars, borrowed from our children’s futures and pissed away, with thousands of our own and others maimed and disfigured for life, millions of families utterly destroyed, ours and theirs, we are no closer to Iraqi oil production than the Iraqis are!

    The next time you hear a blithering idiot spoiled brat, drunken, drug addicted, sociopath, rich Arabic saber dancing daddie’s boy oilman, stand at a microphone and threaten YOUR safety with someone ELSE’S weapons, remember what you lost America, remember, and weep! (also see http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=a-solar-grand-plan)

  • Pingback: The “Unlimited” Potential of American Wind Power: AWEA : CleanTechnica

  • Pingback: Bringing Wind Power Down To Earth : Ecopreneurist

  • Bill

    Does any one know of any other examples of rural economies being stimulated by renewables???

    Fascinating stuff.

  • Bill

    Does any one know of any other examples of rural economies being stimulated by renewables???

    Fascinating stuff.

  • Michelle Bennett

    20 stories high? Everything is bigger in Texas! I’m glad to know that not everyone in the midwest is dead-set against wind. On my recent road trip I used to pass billboards depicting wind towers looming over churches with anti-wind slogan. The theme seemed to be “Godzilla wind will stomp your pastor!”

Back to Top ↑