WASHINGTON, May 14, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Nuclear Energy Institute today released a new study showing a positive impact of more than $250 million annually to Iowa's economy resulting from the day-to-day operation of NextEra Energy's Duane Arnold Energy Center.
The study analyzed data from 2011 to provide a baseline for the economic benefits that result from spending on products and services required to operate the plant, in addition to the salaries of employees and contractors. In years with refueling outages, like this year, the station's economic impact is significantly higher due to the influx of up to 1,500 additional contract workers and the execution of major capital projects at the facility.
"Duane Arnold continues to reliably deliver tremendous value for Eastern Iowa and our entire state," said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. "The plant is a key asset as Iowa strives to become more energy independent. I have long been a supporter of the facility and the hundreds of Iowans who work here."
"Duane Arnold is a terrific asset that delivers a combination of clean, emissions-free energy and good-paying jobs, all of which fuels the local and state economy," said Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy. "This study demonstrates that facilities like Duane Arnold are, in fact, powerful economic engines for the states in which they operate. As our economy continues to recover from the economic challenges of recent years, NextEra Energy is extremely proud to be a strong, steady contributor to Iowa's economy."
Key findings of NEI's study include:
- Duane Arnold supports higher than average wages: Duane Arnold directly employs nearly 600 full-time workers. Because they are technical in nature, these jobs are typically higher-paying than many others in the region. For example, Duane Arnold employees earn more than double the average amount of workers in Benton County and approximately 55 percent more than those in Linn County.
- Duane Arnold's operation creates a significant economic "ripple effect": Duane Arnold's continued operation stimulates $246 million of economic activity locally and contributes approximately $255 million to Iowa's economy each year. The study further found that for every dollar Duane Arnold spends, the Iowa economy produced $1.27. In addition, Duane Arnold contributes $3 million in direct state and local property taxes. More than 1,100 direct and secondary jobs result from the facility's operation.
- Duane Arnold is a key part of Iowa's clean, reliable energy portfolio: Duane Arnold generates approximately 8 percent of Iowa's electricity and operates at or above the industry average for reliable performance. Because the electricity produced by Duane Arnold does not produce air pollution, its operation helps avoid the emission of nearly 4 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is the equivalent of taking almost 800,000 cars off the road.
John L. Solow, professor of economics at the University of Iowa who regularly performs financial analyses of nuclear power for the U.S. Department of Energy, independently reviewed the study. Solow noted, "The Duane Arnold facility has performed at or above the industry average since 1986. As a result, the facility has been a reliable provider of clean, low-cost electricity for the Midwest. The NEI report provides a sensible and credible estimate of the substantial and positive impacts the Duane Arnold Energy Center has on our local, regional and national economies."
Dee Baird, president of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, said, "This report reminds us that the Duane Arnold plant is of considerable benefit to Eastern Iowa and the entire state. This report is a clear reminder the Duane Arnold facility's continued safe and reliable operations bring great economic benefit to the greater Cedar Rapids region and to the state of Iowa."
"This study confirms that Duane Arnold is vitally important in strengthening regional and state economies through job creation, tax payments, and direct and secondary spending. In a multitude of ways, nuclear energy facilities and their employees are invaluable to the communities in which they operate," said Richard Myers, the Nuclear Energy Institute's vice president for policy development, planning and supplier programs.
NEI collected three types of data: purchase order expenditures, employee compensation figures and tax payment data. NEI applied the data to a nationally recognized Impact Analysis for Planning model that was developed for the federal government by RTI International of North Carolina's Research Triangle.
About the Nuclear Energy Institute
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry's policy organization. For more information about the study methodology or national trends in nuclear power, please contact NEI at 202.739.8000 or 703.644.8805 (after hours and weekends).
About NextEra Energy Resources
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (together with its affiliated entities, "NextEra Energy Resources"), is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S., with approximately 18,300 megawatts of generating capacity primarily in 24 states and Canada as of year-end 2013. NextEra Energy Resources, together with its affiliated entities, is the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind and sun. The business operates clean, emissions-free nuclear power generation facilities in New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin as part of the NextEra Energy nuclear fleet, which is one of the largest in the United States. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE). For more information, visit www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
CONTACT: NEI Media Relations firstname.lastname@example.org 202.739.8000 during business hours 703.644.8805 after hours and weekends
Source:Nuclear Energy Institute