The cost of wind energy continues to fall as a result of improved turbine technology and 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 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 markets. The full report is available here.
We estimated economic impacts by utilizing established economic modeling methods. The Jobs and Economic Development Impact (“JEDI”) model, which was 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 in Kansas that will be built as a result of our transmission line. 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.
In our efforts to study the economic impact of our transmission line, Clean Line engaged Development Strategies, a widely respected economic and financial analysis firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Development Strategies measured the potential economic impact of the Grain Belt Express Clean Line on business activity in the United States, states along the future route, and where new wind would be constructed. To download the Development Strategies study, please click 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.