An analysis of the economic impacts of Xcel Energy’s proposed Rush Creek Wind Project indicates that the proposed investment in wind generation would produce net economic benefits for the state of Colorado. The study was prepared by the Leeds School of Business and funded by Xcel Energy.
Investing in 300 wind turbines made in Colorado that collectively produce 600 megawatts of wind energy would reduce “future generation of electricity using gas-fired and coal-fired resources.” Along with investments “in purchasing and erecting the wind turbines, the project will include the creation of access roads, pouring of foundations, installation of transmission lines, and construction of substations.” In total, the study projects that these investments will result in a projected net increase of 7,136 jobs (Table 1, page 6) in Colorado.
Reductions in operating expenditures, “notably – fuel costs,” will result in lower revenue requirements for Colorado ratepayers as wind generation lowers the projected revenue required to generate electricity by 0.7% (Table 3, page 12). From 2016 through 2040, the study projects that the combination of these savings for consumers and investment in renewable generating capacity will increase Colorado’s projected GDP by over $1 billion (Table 1, page 6).
You can access the full study here.