Economic Impacts from Wind Energy in Colorado Case Study: Rush Creek Wind Farm

Authored by Jeremy Stefek (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Anna Kaelin (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Suzanne Tegen (Center for the New Energy Economy), Owen Roberts (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), and David Keyser (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

The 600-megawatt (MW) Rush Creek Wind Farm, owned and operated by Xcel Energy, is Colorado’s largest wind energy project as of year-end 2018. This wind development spans four rural counties in eastern Colorado: Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, and Lincoln. The project is comprised of three hundred 2-MW Vestas turbines, primarily supplied from Vestas Colorado manufacturing facilities. Figure ES-1 shows the location of the Rush Creek Wind Farm relative to Vestas’ Colorado manufacturing plants as well as the affected counties.
The statewide and four-county region jobs and economic impacts were modeled using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) tool.1 The results in Sections 3.1 and 3.3 provide national, state, and local stakeholders with data on the jobs, earnings, gross domestic product (GDP), and gross economic output supported by the Rush Creek Wind Farm (Rush Creek).

Read the full report here: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy19osti/73659.pdf