Alec has conducted economic research and state-of-the-art analysis of traditional and renewable energy industries, projects, technologies, and programs. Alec has evaluated the impacts of large and complex traditional energy projects, and has extensive experience across the full range of renewable energy resources including wind, solar, wave, biofuels, geothermal, hydroelectric, electric vehicles, energy efficiency programs, carbon and pollution reduction strategies, and green industries, buildings, and construction.
Green Industries and Jobs in Oregon
For the Oregon Workforce Investment Board (“OWIB”), researched and developed detailed custom production functions, and then used the IMPLAN modeling system to calculate economic multipliers and other economic metrics for green industries that comprise the sector strategies formulated by the Governor’s Green Jobs Council. Green industries included energy efficiency; renewable energy (solar, wind, wave, ethanol, biomass, small hydroelectric, geothermal, and biodiesel); green manufacturing; green transportation; sustainable farming, forestry, and fishing; energy transmission and storage; green building and development; and environmental technologies and services.
Wave Energy Industry
For the Oregon Wave Energy Trust (“OWET”), measured the economic and fiscal impacts of a wave energy industry in Oregon at three stages of industry development, including:
- Research and Development (R&D) Stage. This stage analyzes the economic impacts of constructing and operating a wave research & development facility on the Oregon coast. This stage also includes the construction, installation, and operations of prototype wave energy buoys.
- Commercial Stage. This stage will address the economic impacts of constructing and operating a 500 MW wave farm off the coast. Impacts at this stage will be from construction, operations and maintenance, and power generation.
- Industrial Stage. This stage examines economic impacts of developing and operating a manufacturing cluster that provides wave energy equipment and expertise to other national and international markets.
Proposed 500-kilovolt (kV) Transmission Project
For Portland General Electric (“PGE”), evaluated the economic and fiscal impacts associated with PGE’s nearly $1.0 billion, 500 kV Cascade Crossing Transmission Project. Used detailed construction cost estimates, and the IMPLAN economic impact modeling software to measure the economic and fiscal impacts of the project for the state of Oregon and the nation. Importantly, to meet critical project deadlines, the impact modeling and report were prepared in less than 45 days.
Construction and Operation of Biorefinery
Evaluated the economic and fiscal impacts associated with Zeachem’s proposed construction and operation of a biorefinery that converts renewable, non-food biomass into fuels and chemicals. The project used detailed construction and operating cost estimates and the IMPLAN economic impact modeling software to measure the local economic and fiscal impacts of the biorefinery. In addition, the project used the enhanced Multi-Regional Input-Output (“MRIO”) module of the IMPLAN model to estimate potential spillover effects of the biorefinery on other parts of the state. The analysis helped Zeachem secure a $40 million grant and a conditional loan guarantee of $232.5 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
US DOE’s Solar America Initiative
National Renewable Energy Lab
Estimated the potential economic, energy, and environmental benefits of the US DOE’s Solar America Initiative. This initiative is designed to result in 5-10 GW of solar power installed by 2015 and 70-100 GW installed by 2030. Economic impacts were estimated on a national scale using IMPLAN and included estimates of jobs, economic output, and income resulting from the initiative. Energy benefits included the potential effects on fossil-fuel energy prices and reduced fuel consumption. The environmental effects included emissions reductions and related health benefits due to lower emissions.
Green Building Programs
Used the IMPLAN input-output model to evaluate the potential economic impacts for three programs being considered by the City of Seattle’s Green Building Task Force (GBTF). Program inputs consist of the expenditures associated with each policy, estimated participation rates, and expected energy savings from measures adopted as a result of the programs. All results are compared against a Base Case counterfactual scenario where the policies are not enacted and the program funds are instead returned to Seattle residents and spent following historically observed spending patterns.
Construction and Operation of Anaerobic Digestion Facility
Columbia Biogas (“CBG”)
Evaluated the economic and fiscal impacts associated with Columbia Biogas’ (“CBG”) proposed construction and operation of an anaerobic digestion facility in Portland, Oregon. This innovative renewable energy production facility (“biogas facility”) converts food waste into energy, fertilizer, soil amendments, and water. By doing so, the biogas facility will create jobs and income for residents in a distressed community and help to divert food waste from landfills, and decrease carbon and methane emissions. The analysis used detailed construction and operating cost estimates provided by CBG and the IMPLAN economic impact modeling software to measure the economic and fiscal impacts associated with construction and operation of the biogas facility.
Wind Power Guide Book
For Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (“CTED”), in association with NW SEED, AWISH, and the Energy Trust of Oregon, developed an economic guidebook to assist communities in estimating the economic benefits of wind power projects, with an emphasis on community wind. These benefits included estimates of the increase in income, economic output, jobs, and tax revenues in the local community for several different sized wind projects and varying assumptions regarding local inputs. The final products included a written report along with a spreadsheet tool to estimate economic benefits across a range of different wind applications.
Construction and Operation of Combined-Cycle Power Plant in Oregon
For Troutdale Energy Center (“TEC”), estimated the economic and fiscal impacts from construction and operation of a proposed $680.5 million combined-cycle power plant facility in Troutdale, Oregon. Used detailed construction and operating cost estimates and the IMPLAN economic impact modeling software to measure the economic and fiscal impacts of the TEC. In addition, the report described the fiscal impacts of the facility for property taxes and community service fees. The report assisted in the application for the State of Oregon’s Strategic Investment Program (SIP), a tax incentive program created to encourage traded sector businesses to locate in Oregon.
Wind Power Impacts in Kittitas County, Washington
Evaluation of the potential impacts on property values, tax revenues, and the local economy associated with a proposed wind power plant in Kittitas County, Washington. To research these impacts, we utilized several different analysis techniques. We surveyed tax assessors in other counties with wind projects to determine the potential effects of wind farms on property values. We also conducted a review of the available academic literature for additional information on property value effects. Local economic impacts were estimated using an input-output model based on construction and operations data obtained from the two companies proposing wind projects in Kittitas County. Tax revenues were estimated from the input-output model results based on tax rate and spending information obtained from Kittitas County.
Current and Projected Impacts of Global Wind Power Manufacturer
Evaluated the economic and fiscal impacts associated with Vestas’ manufacturing, headquarters, research and development, and onsite wind power plant operations throughout the United States. The analysis considered both current and projected operating and capital spending, as well as potential new manufacturing in Oregon. In addition, the analysis also included case studies that examined the economic and fiscal impacts of specific wind power plants on their local communities. Analysis relied upon detailed operating and capital spending for each business activity and wind power plants as inputs into national, state, regional, and community impact models constructed with the IMPLAN economic impact modeling software.