While the benefits of wind power to society as a whole are abundant, the benefits to the local community are also extensive. The Berkshires in recent years have seen a steady influx of the “green” economic enhancements and the Berkshire Wind Power Project is really an exclamation point on the work of the local green community. It solidifies the Berkshires as a renewable energy leader in Massachusetts and in the Northeast as a whole. Such recognition has the potential to help attract more investment to the area and that investment translates into new, well-paying, skilled jobs.
An immediate benefit of the project was the economic activity created by the construction itself. Not only did the project use local workers and firms whenever possible, it also employed specialized workers who temporarily lived and spent locally.
The Berkshire Wind Power Project is a public power project, meaning that the economic facets of the project, in addition to the environmental ones, directly benefit the citizens of the Commonwealth. In addition, the members of the Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative Corporation are deeply committed to fostering strong community bonds. As a public entity, the Cooperative is exempt from paying taxes in the community but each year offers what is called a payment in lieu of taxes to the towns of Hancock and Lanesborough, where the project is located. This payment will, at the town’s discretion, help to fund various community initiatives.
The creation of additional sources of alternative and renewable energy sources is a benefit that the entire world can rally around. The communities in which these developments are taking place are acting as environmental stewards and will lead the way into an environmentally cleaner and more economically prosperous tomorrow.