In early 2013, Clean Line engaged Strategic Economic Research to estimate the economic impacts created as a result of the Grain Belt Express Clean Line. The principal of Strategic Economic Research, Dr. David Loomis, along with his colleague Dr. Lon Carlson authored the Economic Impact Study. The study summarizes the impacts of construction and operation of the transmission line and manufacturing of its components, such as the structures and wire. The study also estimates the impacts of the manufacture, construction, and operation of the wind farms that the Grain Belt Express Clean Line will enable. To download the economic impact study, please click here.
IMPLAN, a widely-used input-output economic impact model, was used to estimate the direct and indirect economic impacts triggered by the construction and ongoing operations of the Grain Belt Express Clean Line. The Jobs and Economic Development Impact ("JEDI") model, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, was used to calculate the direct and indirect economic impacts of the construction and ongoing operations of the wind farms that will be built as a result of our transmission line.
Dr. Loomis is president of Strategic Economic Research, LLC and Professor of Economics at Illinois State University. He is also Director of the Center for Renewable Energy and Executive Director of the Institute for Regulatory Policy Studies. Dr. Carlson is an independent consultant recently retired as an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Illinois State University and Director of Outreach for the Institute for Regulatory Policy Studies.
The cost of wind energy continues to fall as a result of competition among wind turbine manufacturers and improved turbine technology. A recent study by the Department of Energy (DOE) reported that power purchase prices for wind energy were 51% percent lower in 2011 than they were in 2009. The same DOE study showed prices for wind power in the wind belt, the 13 shaded states in the above graphic were consistently lower than nationwide averages. This explains why Clean Line is focused on connecting energy produced in the windiest parts of the country to larger markets. The full report is available here.
Many companies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Kansas have the capabilities to manufacture components for the wind energy and electric transmission industries. These manufacturers are well positioned to benefit from the development of up to 4,000 MW of new wind farms made possible by new transmission capacity. Demand for wind turbines and components will significantly increase in the region. For example, Clean Line worked with the Missouri Partnership to identify existing Missouri companies with the potential to manufacture components for the wind turbine supply chain. To download the Growth Opportunity for Missouri Manufacturers study, please click here.