Clean energy projects in Texas like this solar field bring local economic benefits.
Photo Credit:
Canva Pro
Texas goes green

Empowering Communities: How Clean Energy Projects Benefit Rural Texas

Katie Overmonds
/
August 15, 2023

Today, we’re talking about something that's been making waves and generating more than just electricity in our beloved rural Texas communities – clean energy projects. (One of our favorite topics!) At OhmConnect Energy, we’re building towards a world where Texans can harness the power of nature to not only light up our homes but also light up our state with new opportunities, and there are opportunities galore. 

When you think about clean energy, what probably comes to mind first are those iconic wind turbines gently spinning in the wind or rows of glistening solar panels soaking up the Texas sun. In fact, Texas has produced more gigawatt-hours of electricity from renewable sources than any other state for several years running, generating 136,118 gigawatt-hours in 2022 from wind and utility-scale solar, most of it from wind. The runner-up was California with 52,927 gigawatt-hours.

But did you know that these clean energy projects are doing so much more than just generating clean power?

We already know how clean energy helps the planet at large, but what about right here at home in the Lonestar State? Here are a few ways clean energy projects benefit rural communities in Texas. 

How Clean Energy Projects Benefit Rural Texas

1. Job Creation: Rural Revival

Picture this: a bustling job market right in the heart of our countryside. Clean energy projects are acting as catalysts for job creation, breathing new life into our rural communities. From engineering and construction to maintenance and administration, these projects are employing local residents and offering stable, well-paying jobs that keep families rooted in their hometowns.

Wind Turbines and an old windmill at the Roscoe Wind Farm clean energy project in West Texas
Wind Turbines and an old windmill at the Roscoe Wind Farm in West Texas Image by Matthew T Rader, matthewtrader.com, CC BY-SA 4.0.

One of our favorite examples? The Roscoe Wind Farm, located in West Texas, is one of the largest wind energy projects in the world. With more than 600 wind turbines spread across a vast area not far from Dallas, this project has brought significant economic benefits to the rural community of Roscoe and the surrounding areas. The project led to job creation during both construction and ongoing maintenance phases, providing employment opportunities for local residents. Additionally, the increased tax revenue generated from the wind farm has contributed to the development of local infrastructure, schools, and public services. The success of Roscoe Wind Farm has inspired similar projects in the region, driving rural economic growth. A win-win in our books! 

2. Economic Development: Powering Prosperity

Clean energy projects aren't just about capturing wind or sunlight – they're capturing economic potential. (See what we did there?) As these projects pop up, they bring along a surge of economic activity. Local businesses see an uptick in customers, new services spring up, and tax revenues increase, injecting a much-needed boost to our local economies. This not only helps in diversifying our income sources but also ensures a brighter future for local generations to come.

The Alamo 6 Solar Farm, located in Uvalde County, Texas, is a prime example of how solar energy projects can positively impact rural communities. This solar farm, covering a vast expanse of land, has created jobs ranging from construction and installation to maintenance and monitoring. The influx of workers and investment into the area has boosted local businesses, restaurants, and accommodations, giving the community a significant economic boost. Moreover, the Alamo 6 Solar Farm also contributes to the local tax base, which enables the improvement of local infrastructure and services.

Clean energy projects often mean injections of funds into local community projects like schools and hospitals.
Clean energy projects often mean injections of funds into local community projects like schools and hospitals. Image source: Canva Pro

3. Infrastructure Enhancement: Paving the Way for Progress

Think about the improvements we all wish we could see in our communities – better roads, upgraded schools, and improved healthcare facilities. Well, here's where clean energy swoops in to help. As these projects take root, they often require infrastructure upgrades, such as improved roads to transport equipment and components. This, in turn, leaves a lasting impact on our communities by enhancing our overall quality of life.

Story time: In a small rural town called Blueville in Central Texas, the local economy had been struggling, and the community faced challenges in maintaining its aging infrastructure. However, the introduction of the Blue Wing Solar Project transformed the landscape and revitalized the town in a variety of ways.

The Blue Wing Solar Project was a collaborative effort between the local government, private investors, and clean energy companies. The project aimed to establish a large solar farm on the outskirts of Blueville, taking advantage of the region's abundant sunlight. The solar farm was designed to generate clean energy while also addressing the community's infrastructure needs.

Here's how the project improved the town's infrastructure:

  • Road Upgrades: To transport the materials and equipment required for the solar farm's construction, the project led to a significant upgrade of the local roads and highways. This not only facilitated the construction process but also left the community with improved roadways that enhanced connectivity and accessibility for residents and businesses.
  • Local Job Opportunities: During the construction phase, the Blue Wing Solar Project created a surge in job opportunities for local residents. The influx of workers led to increased demand for housing, dining, and other services, which, in turn, benefited local businesses.
  • Tax Revenue: Once operational, the solar farm generated a consistent stream of revenue for the town through property taxes and lease agreements. This additional income allowed the local government to invest in critical infrastructure improvements, such as repairing bridges, upgrading the water and sewage systems, and renovating public buildings.
  • Educational Support: As part of their commitment to the community, the project developers established educational programs related to clean energy for local schools. This not only enriched the educational experience for students but also encouraged interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
  • Community Center Renovation: A portion of the project's revenue was allocated to renovating the town's community center, transforming it into a hub for events, workshops, and social gatherings. This revitalization project provided a central space for residents to come together and foster community spirit.

Sure, these clean energy projects bring immediate benefits, but there's something even bigger they offer: sustainability. Texas has always been known for its big-hearted approach, and embracing clean energy is yet another way we show our commitment to preserving our environment. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our reliance on fossil fuels, we're safeguarding the beauty of our landscapes and the quality of the air we breathe for future generations to enjoy.

Joining the Renewable Revolution

So, how can you become a part of this renewable revolution that's transforming rural Texas? Firstly, keep yourself informed about the projects happening in your area – attend community meetings, sign a petition, engage in discussions, and learn about the benefits these clean energy projects can bring. Your support and active involvement can make a significant difference.

Don’t have time to go full-on activist? Switch your electric provider to OhmConnect Energy and enjoy an affordable, fixed-rate electric plan that runs on 100% clean energy. The planet and your wallet will thank you! 

Here's to a brighter, cleaner, and more prosperous future for Texas and the planet! 🌞🍃

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