Wind energy makes an impact in every community it calls home – from clean power to high-paying jobs, wind offers a wide array of benefits beyond the homes and businesses that it powers.
Consistently ranking as one of the windiest cities in the country, in a state that is the national leader in wind energy, Amarillo is experiencing the advantages of wind energy first hand.
One of wind’s well-documented benefits is the positive effect on the area’s tax base, something that is vitally important in today’s environment. Coupled with the lowest unemployment in the state, the presence of the wind industry in the Panhandle is helping strengthen the region’s economic outlook.
It goes back to the fundamental mission of the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation, to build up Amarillo, which includes recruiting wind projects and manufacturers that contribute to a stronger tax base for many of the surrounding counties. Wind is creating regional wealth for these tax entities, and the capital expenditure has created more jobs.
Earlier this year, we helped recruit 150 new wind energy jobs to Amarillo. The addition of these jobs will have a major economic impact on an industry we thrive upon. This project also gives us the ability to draw new talent to the metro area.
Citizens in our community have the opportunity to train and be a part of the growing wind energy industry through the wind technician programs here in the Panhandle, including Amarillo College and West Texas A&M, a global leader in wind energy research and home to the world’s largest wind turbine testing facilities.
The staying power of wind, especially in the face of economic adversity, is a benefit felt across the Panhandle. Wind’s presence in the area means new jobs from wind manufacturers, new opportunities for students and workers and the ability to revitalize local economies.
These projects can have a huge impact without using a drop of water, and that’s a big reason our corner of Texas has been so receptive to wind. Neighboring counties such as Oldham, Deaf Smith and Carson are traditionally agricultural communities, and we appreciate the additional jobs and opportunities that our people can rely on with this new, stable industry.
In next door Oldham County, wind is responsible for more than a billion dollars in community investment, and it has recently seen the expansion of that through repowering, which extends the lifespan of projects while contributing to the economy through temporary jobs to upgrade the turbines, community investment and well-paying jobs.
We’re celebrating American Wind Week this week, August 10-14, and we hope you will join us. Through these wind projects, our region is guaranteed to continue seeing great jobs, land-lease payments to landowners, and low tax rates that benefit our community. Wind energy has been and continues to be an irreplaceable resource for Amarillo and the Panhandle.
Kevin Carter is president and CEO of Amarillo Economic Development Corporation.