Powering Rural America’s Economy Through Wind Energy

Published on Friday, 9 August 2019

“It’s given me some economic breathing room just to hang on. Wind farms and the prospect of wind farms allow people to still be able to make a living and still have a community.”

– Joe Bush, Landowner (Oklahoma)

Delivering Careers for The Future

Besides steady income for residents leasing land, wind farms bring crucial economic activity to rural areas through valuable employment opportunities.

Jobs in urban areas have grown more than three times faster than in rural areas , and often employment in rural areas is concentrated in dwindling industries such as coal mining . Wind farms in rural areas offer a crucial lifeline, since coal miners that have been laid off can be retrained for jobs in wind energy.

What’s more, our wind engineers enjoy what they do:

“I love the people I work with. I love the work that we do. I feel like it’s good for the planet. It’s good for my family. It’s good for the community.”

– Austin Jones, Wind Site Supervisor at Enel Green Power

And when windfarms are being created, construction jobs in rural areas soar—since 2016 we’ve been responsible for more than 3,500 construction jobs —boosting rural economies so often in need. 

Inspiring the Younger Community

When we partner with communities on our clean energy projects, we want to make sure everyone can see the benefits. This means paying special attention to education and inspiring the next generation of wind energy workers.

Take Allen, Nebraska for instance, where our Rattlesnake Creek wind farm and financial support for a local school have inspired students to think about careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics):

In Kansas, we sponsored the KidWind challenge, where middle- and high-school students design and test their own turbines, helping them get excited about wind energy and hopefully setting them on the path for a successful career.

We also hold similar events in Oklahoma, where one instructor had this to say: 

“We’re able to go out into the classrooms, and community, to hold this event, and Enel is one of our supporters allowing us to do that. And it’s not just from a financial standpoint…The Enel personnel show up in the classroom and the techs show up in the classroom, they show up at community events, and provide hands-on help.”

– Kathy Jackson, an instructor at KidWind, Oklahoma

Our commitments to rural communities go beyond simply building our wind farms. We strive to be good employers, good partners, and good corporate citizens as we support the people that make our wind power possible.