Host communities are realizing significant economic and social benefits through new municipal tax revenues, additional and stable income for farmers and landowners from land lease agreements.
Wind energy is creating new high-value jobs, providing employment opportunities for local trades-people and contractors as well as full-time permanent jobs once the wind farm is operational.
Wind energy projects bring direct investment in the form of contracts for raw materials and infusion of dollars to local services and retail businesses.
Developers are establishing innovative ways to provide additional economic benefits and support community partnerships (e.g., voluntary Community Benefits Program / Community Vibrancy Funds).
Community Liaison Committees are being established in developer communities in order to create a foundation for meaningful dialogue, while supporting an atmosphere of public trust/confidence between the wind energy developer and community.
If Ontario fully implements the government’s Long-Term Energy Plan, it is expected that over $650 million will be paid to landowners in lease payments from the wind energy sector in Ontario from 2006 to 2030.
$25 million was invested into the community of Wolfe Island during construction and royalties to landowners, tax payments, operation and maintenance expenses and ongoing local economic benefits add up to an another $3 million a year.
Creating jobs in a homegrown industry
Wind energy is providing high quality jobs for graduates of Fanshawe College, St. Lawrence College and St. Clair College in Ontario, Lethbridge College in Alberta, Groupe Collegia in Quebec and Northern Lights College in BC, to name a few.
Wind energy is poised to create hundreds of new jobs in places like Windsor and Tillsonburg where other manufacturing has declined. These are good-paying jobs at a time when every job counts.
For every direct job created in the wind energy industry, there are spin -off jobs created in the value chain in areas like construction, transportation, provision of aggregate, etc. Much of the raw materials used in construction of wind farms is sourced locally, so the benefits are experienced at a regional level.
If Ontario fully implements the government’s 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan, every 1,000 MW of new wind would drive approximately $2 billion in investments, create over 11,200 (direct and in-direct) person-years of employment, and provide enough clean power for over 300,000 Canadian homes.
A report by Blue Green Canada More Bank For Our Buck examined the $1.3 billion in taxpayer subsidies the federal government provides to the oil industry and found that if those dollars were invested in renewable energy or energy efficiency it could create between 18,000-20,000 jobs. In comparison, that same amount of money invested in oil and gas would yield less than 3,000 jobs.
Communities hosting wind energy projects benefit from local economic development through new sources of stable revenue in the form of taxes and land lease payments, as well as new opportunities for local contractors and service providers.
Multiple studies around the world have consistently found no statistical evidence that links wind projects to widespread reduced property values.
The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is currently not altering property assessments in Ontario as a result of wind energy projects. MPAC is a not-for-profit corporation funded by all Ontario municipalities.
2012 Assessment Base Year Study- Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC’s)
study concludes that “2012 Current Value Assessments (CVA) of properties located within proximity to [a wind turbine] are assessed at their current value and are equitably assessed in relation to homes at greater distances. No adjustments are required for 2012 CVAs. This finding is consistent with MPAC’s 2008 CVA report. The 2012 CVA study also found that there is no statistically significant impact on sale prices of residential properties in these market areas resulting from proximity to [a wind turbine]. The study underwent a rigorous independent third-party peer review and includes appendices describing the study parameters and documenting the analyses.”
MPAC NEWS Summer 2012 – Property Assessment & Wind Turbines: To date, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation’s (MPAC) analysis of sales has indicated that the presence of wind turbines that are either abutting or in proximity to a property has neither a positive nor negative impact on its value.