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Wind Benefit Inflation: JEDI (NREL) Model Needs Reality Check

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- December 12, 2012

Since 2009, the State of New Hampshire has reviewed three large-scale wind energy facilities, totaling 177 megawatts. In each case, the project proponents engaged University of New Hampshire Professor and economist Ross Gittell and his research assistant, Matt Magnusson, to conduct economic impact studies to show the long-term (20-year) benefits the projects would deliver to the local area.

Figure 1 summarizes the findings of each report (please click for better resolution).


The UNH researchers relied on NREL’s Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (JEDI) or similar linear spreadsheet models to assess job creation and economic impacts for the three projects: Granite Reliable Wind Park, Groton Wind and Antrim Wind. The methodologies and assumptions for the three studies appear nearly identical.

In all cases, their reports showed minor direct job opportunities (15 full-time equivalent positions for operations at the three sites) but substantially inflated indirect and induced job benefits relative to the local area.