ENGIE North America’s work to harvest the wind not only helps power homes and businesses across the United States. It also powers communities.
That power comes through the hundreds of millions of dollars in economic investments ENGIE makes in local communities. Those investments come through jobs, landowner lease payments and taxes, along with other payments to local governments and donations to community charitable groups.
Here are just some examples of how we help communities where we work:
ENGIE will make more than $53 million in lease payments to landowners at our first five operating wind sites over the 30-year lives of those operations, ranging from the East Fork project near Colby, Kansas, to the Seymour Hills project in Baylor County, Texas.
Those payments are to lease land where our turbines actually take up very little space. Nationally, more than 98 percent of the land leased for wind energy projects remains free for continued farming, ranching and wildlife habitat. Meanwhile, those payments allow farmers and ranchers to continue to do what they love, and assist them to stay on land that has often been in their families for generations. Learn more about Mike Banta, one of our landowners, and his thoughts on his family’s land and renewable energy.
Payments to local governments
ENGIE will make payments to local governments amounting to more than $157 million over the 30-year lives of the five operating wind sites, from the Solomon Forks project in Thomas County, Kansas, to the Live Oak project in Schleicher County, Texas. Those payments will come in the form of taxes and special payments to the local governments in lieu of taxes.
That money helps pay for schools, roads and other local infrastructure, and helps to keep taxes lower in the rural communities where we operate.
ENGIE provided thousands of construction and related jobs to build the five wind sites. And the five sites continue to provide more than 100 ongoing jobs, paying some $9 million per year, supported by ENGIE and the turbine manufacturers.
The wind energy industry across the nation has created more than 120,000 jobs for workers in the U.S., including well-paying permanent jobs for local workers at every project site. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one such job — wind power technician — is the second fastest growing job category in the United States. It has been the fastest growing job in the U.S. in previous years. The number of technicians was expected to grow almost 60 percent between 2018 and 2028.
Other community contributions
ENGIE also makes tens of thousands of dollars in donations to a range of charitable and non-profit groups in the communities we’re a part of.
ENGIE is proud to have become an important part of all of these communities — all of our communities. And we’re proud to continue to invest in their futures.
“We have a commitment to the communities where we operate,” says Laura Beane, Chief Renewables Officer for ENGIE North America. “We often hear stories about how our landowners have been on their farms and ranches for many generations. We feel like we’re a first-generation community member now. And at the end of the day, we want to leave a positive mark on all of our communities.”