SPONSORED CONTENT: Wind Works for Wyoming Communities

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Economic diversification is a point of constant discussion in Wyoming. And for good reason. One way to expand economic activity is to leverage your strengths into opportunities – and that is what wind does for Wyoming’s local communities.

Home to some of the best inland wind resources in the country and with an experienced energy industry, Wyoming has reaped the benefits of wind energy development.

In 2020, while much of the country was seeing declines in tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parts of Wyoming saw massive revenue increases due to the construction of wind energy facilities. An estimated $1.6 billion in capital costs was spent in 2020 – bringing the total capital investment by this industry in Wyoming to $5 billion.

Laramie County was one of the places that saw double-digit increases in its sales tax revenue. County Commissioner Gunner Malm highlighted wind’s positive role in the local economy: “Laramie County and our cities were looking at and preparing for a significant decrease in our revenues in 2020. But that isn’t what came to fruition. With the build-out of multiple wind energy projects, we saw not drops but large increases in our sales tax revenue.” Other counties that saw large influxes to their budget during this period include Carbon and Converse counties.

And wind isn’t done growing yet. This past summer, Rocky Mountain Power announced they continue to consider new Wyoming wind energy projects as part of their all-source request for proposals – meaning more development could be coming to Wyoming.

As we explore economic diversification, wind farms need to be at the top of that list. The influx of sales tax dollars isn’t just a one-off blip while projects are under construction. Operating wind energy facilities pay property and generation taxes that bring ongoing, reliable revenue to the state general fund and well as local communities.

“60% of the wind generation tax comes back to counties; and property tax is completely managed by the counties, so when we talk about these tax revenues, there is a very substantial chunk that are in local hands and goes to local services and infrastructure,” said Commissioner Malm.

The wind industry provides new and essential sources of revenue to our communities and for the benefit of Wyoming citizens.

Learn more about the wind industry in Wyoming, stay informed on news, legislative actions, and what you can do to support all of the above energy by visiting poweringupwyoming.org.

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