Construction & Permanent Job Growth
Constructing clean energy projects requires the efforts of many skilled construction workers, from building local access roads and foundations to support the technology, to crane operators, electricians, and more. Once the facility is operational, service technicians inspect the technology and provide regular maintenance. The Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center will result in approximately 930 temporary construction jobs (direct, indirect, and induced) and 56 long-term family-wage permanent positions (direct, indirect, and induced) once the facility begins operation.
New Revenue for Benton and Franklin County
The Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center represents significant economic benefits to the community in the form of payments to farmers and landowners, local spending, and annual community investment. According to an extensive economic impact analysis recently conducted by TetraTech, the project would generate almost $20 million in revenues during the first full year of operation and $260 million over the 35-year operating life of the project. These fees will be paid to Benton County, and under current allocations, the largest proportion of those funds would support local schools. Read the full report.
Supporting Local Farmers
The Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center will be located on primarily private, cultivated land where most of area under lease is operated as dry-land wheat farms. The project will co-exist well with agricultural uses in the area, allowing farmers to continue growing crops while generating additional revenue from the project. Participating in the project offers farmers diversification and supplemental income, which ultimately supports long-term farm revenue and property ownership.
Wind and solar are renewable energy sources with some of the lowest environmental impacts of any source of electricity generation. Unlike conventional sources, these solutions have no carbon emissions, use no water, and don’t create smog or other impacts associated with burning fossil fuels. The end result will be a new stable source of clean, reliable power for the region.
Building a Cleaner Future
Utilities across Washington State seek to use renewable energy for their electricity needs, and businesses are also increasing their commitment to renewable power. In 2019 the state enacted a law that commits Washington to an electricity supply free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. As part of this directive, coal plants in the Pacific Northwest will be retired, creating a regional capacity shortfall that this project will help address.
Flexibility & Diversity
The Horse Heaven Clean Energy Center will contribute to a diverse energy market that is affordable, reliable and meets the needs of Washington businesses and communities. To operate reliably, our power grid requires energy, capacity, and flexibility. Portfolio diversity is the key to a reliable power system, as no resource is available 100% of the time and all power plants are dependent on all others to back them up. Wind energy, solar, and battery storage fit well into this mix as low-cost sources of energy, offering capacity and flexibility to alleviate extreme winter price swings and help keep the lights on.