Jobs potential from wind power spread across United States

Much of the United States' wind development potential lies in the upper Great Plains region, but that does not mean that the region will get most of the benefits of a possible 50,000 MW, $50 billion boom in wind power, concludes a study by the Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP) of Washington DC. Most turbine component manufacturers and the jobs created would probably be spread throughout 20 populous states, like California, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania that already have the manufacturing infrastructure to build and assemble the parts. Not coincidentally, those are also the states that have lost 2.2 million manufacturing jobs between 2001 and 2004, the study says. Such a large build-up of wind capacity would create 120,000 manufacturing jobs in the 20 states, which have 75% of the nation's population, and 150,000 jobs nationally. REPP identified companies already manufacturing turbine components in the US and also sought out companies with the manufacturing capability and infrastructure needed to make the components, finding more than 16,000 companies that fit that description. REPP says that every 1000 MW of wind development requires a $1 billion investment in rotors, generators, towers and other investments, and creates 3000 jobs in manufacturing, 700 jobs in installations and 600 jobs in operation and maintenance of completed wind stations.