The Western Way, in partnership with the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce released, “The Economic Benefits of Arizona Rural Renewable Energy Facilities.”  The economic impact study, conducted by Development Research Partners, found that 34 rural renewable projects constructed in Arizona from 2001 to 2017 resulted in significant economic benefits to rural Arizona, including:

• $9.4 billion contributed to the Arizona economy;

• 17,971 Arizona jobs;

• $1.2 billion in wages to paid to Arizona employees; and

• $16.7 million in state and local tax revenues benefiting Arizona.

The study also found that rural renewable facilities continue to contribute to the Arizona economy after construction is complete.  Annually these projects contribute an estimated $63 million and sustain over 700 jobs with combined wages of over $33 million.  The facilities also contribute nearly $1 million in annual property tax revenue benefiting Arizona schools. 

“Rural Arizona has some of the best solar resources in the country and this report shows in great detail how the industry is benefiting our state with increased jobs and economic opportunities,” said Jaime Molera, Arizona Director of The Western Way. “Over the last decade, market forces drove technological improvements leading to drops in the prices of utility scale solar which are cost competitive for utilities and can save rate payers money.  More investment in utility scale renewables will grow Arizona’s rural economy.” 

The study also tested the economic and fiscal benefits of adding new solar and battery storage facilities in Arizona.  The model test case was a new 100MW-solar PV facility with a 30MW battery storage component in Yuma County.  The report showed the model solar plus storage project would result in a total economic output of $9.1 million for construction and $1.3 million direct and indirect benefits annually.