Santa Barbara County’s largest business group, the Santa Barbara County Chamber of Commerce Coalition, has announced its support of the Strauss Wind Project. The coalition, which consists of the Goleta, Santa Barbara, Buellton, Lompoc, Solvang, and Santa Maria Valley chambers of commerce, supports energy projects that improve the local economy and jobs while benefiting the environment.

The coalition believes the Strauss Wind Project is a positive step toward the county’s energy needs and is an improved version from the original Lompoc wind project, which was approved years ago.
The Strauss Wind Project would provide enough renewable energy for 45,000 homes, while creating hundreds of jobs in the North County.

The business coalition supports the economic benefits of the project, and the investment in clean energy. This economic development project will create opportunities through job creation and tax revenue. Local communities will benefit from a significant source of stable, long-term county tax revenue, resulting in increased funding for the city of Lompoc tax base.

It is estimated the project will provide $40 million in tax revenue during its 30-year life. The local tax revenue would make the project the ninth largest taxpayer in Santa Barbara County.

The wind farm is expected to create about 150 construction jobs and five-seven permanent jobs. The community would also experience increased economic activity for local restaurants, hotels and other service providers. Additional local economic impact will come from the local procurement of materials, such as concrete and aggregate, where possible.

“A diversified energy program is essential to our county’s vitality. Wind is an important piece of the puzzle and this project will move us forward in our clean energy goals,” said Kristen Miller, president/CEO of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce and a founding member of the countywide coalition of chambers of commerce.

— Cortney Hebert Rintoul for Goleta Chamber of Commerce.