This study is an update to the work presented in Attachments 5 and 6 of the February 1, 2010, SPP Priority Projects Phase II Report, which analyzed the job and economic stimulus benefits of wind development and transmission investment in the SPP footprint. This update analyzes the impact on jobs, earnings, and economic output from two groups of transmission investments (Group 1 and Group 2, consisting of 345 kV transmission lines and 765 kV lines operated at 345 kV) in combination with the investment of an additional 3,196 MW and 7,616 MW of wind farms.

To perform our economic impact analysis, we measure the direct impacts on jobs, earnings, and economic activity in SPP member states stimulated by the increased spending on transmission and wind generation. We also measure the indirect impacts that arise as in-region suppliers to the transmission and wind generation industries, as well as other upstream producers, benefit from the increased investment. Lastly, we measure the induced impacts that arise as the increased income from jobs created by the transmission and wind build-out is spent on services and other industry sectors and ripples through the regional economy. To quantify these impacts, we rely on two models—the Minnesota IMPLAN Group Model and the Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) Job and Economic Development Impact (“JEDI”) Model—that are widely used by economists and policy analysts to estimate how specified investments affect every sector of a state’s or region’s economy.

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Job and Economic Benefits of Transmission and Wind Generation Investments in the SPP Region