In May of 2011, our David Roberts deemed the Atlantic Wind Connection “a Big Deal.” His capitalization. The project, funded in part by Google’s energy-focused subsidiary, would install a massive transmission backbone along the Eastern seaboard connected to a series of offshore wind farms.
And according to a new estimate commissioned by project backers, it could create more than 70,000 new jobs. From the Associated Press:
The study released Wednesday said those jobs would be created by a new industrial base needed to manufacture, build, operate and maintain the towering wind turbines, and an additional 40,000 jobs would be needed to serve the supply chain. The job growth would be realized over a 10-year build out of the offshore industry. …
Backed by the Internet titan Google and other investors, the Atlantic Wind Connection is moving forward with the construction of a 380-mile power line that would enable up to 7,000 megawatts of electricity to be produced at offshore wind farms from Virginia to New Jersey.
The study’s economic projections are based on the development of 7,000 megawatts of wind power, or enough to power more than 2 million homes in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Besides the 110,000 jobs created directly by the industry and the supply chain, the study estimates that 50,000 jobs would be created by the effect of added economic activity — restaurants and groceries, for instance.
Large-scale wind development off the Atlantic coast would also have a combined economic impact for the states of $19 billion and increase local, state and federal government revenues by $4.6 billion, the study by information and analytics company IHS Inc. concluded.
This doesn’t include the jobs that will be created at gas stations as anti-wind activists drive up and down the coast protesting children.