More Than $146 Million Would Be Added to Abilene Economy During Tenaska Trailblazer Energy Center Construction, Experts Estimate

ABILENE, Texas – The proposed Tenaska Trailblazer Energy Center near Sweetwater would add more than $146 million to the Abilene economy during its five-year construction period, according to an independent study announced by Tenaska today. The study was conducted by Abilene-based J&A Consulting Group, LLC (J&A).

The plant would also mean an economic boost to the Abilene area of $1 million to $3 million annually during its 50-year operating life, reported two of the principals of J&A, Dr. Darryl Jinkerson, associate professor of management at Abilene Christian University (ACU) and Dr. Ian Shepherd, associate professor of economics at ACU.

“Trailblazer will be one of the nation’s most technologically advanced and environmentally responsible generating plants,” said Tenaska Manager of Business Development Helen Manroe. “As such, it will greatly enhance this area’s growing international reputation as a high-tech center for clean energy. We are pleased that it also will mean significant economic benefits not only for the Big Country region in general, but for Abilene and Taylor County.”

The Trailblazer generating plant will convert the energy in low-sulfur coal into a reliable supply of electricity to meet the needs of about 600,000 Texas households, while capturing and providing for geologic storage of 85 to 90 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) that would otherwise enter the atmosphere. The CO2 captured by the first-of-its-kind facility would be sent via pipeline to Permian Basin oil fields for use in enhanced oil recovery, thereby increasing production and helping secure America’s energy future.

“With 1,500 jobs at the peak of the five-year construction period and 100 permanent, well-paying jobs during operation, we knew that the project would have a significant impact on the Abilene economy,” Manroe said. “We asked J&A to use conservative assumptions to help us establish the low end of the range of benefits Abilene can expect from the project.”

The J&A study demonstrates that the plant’s economic impact during construction will bring an estimated $146 million to $175 million of economic benefit to Abilene, including its engineering and construction firms, equipment suppliers, airport, hotels, motels, restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations and other retail establishments.

The impact during the 2010 to 2015 construction period is projected to include:

· $3.8 million to Taylor County per year for local engineers and local contractors;

· $30 million for construction of a water pipeline, at least 80 percent of which would directly benefit Abilene over two years;

· $6.5 million to $7.5 million annually in indirect business taxes to Taylor County, plus $16.5 million to $19.5 million in other property income taxes; and

· $50.5 million to $58.5 million in total labor income for Taylor County.

In addition, J&A estimates that the annual economic impact would be between $1 and $3 million during the 50-year operating life of the plant.

The study’s authors noted that it did not take into account any revenue that the City of Abilene would receive if it were to sell wastewater to the Trailblazer project. Such revenues could be used to improve the City’s water treatment system.

“J&A Consulting Group took a very conservative but rigorous approach to estimating the potential economic impact to Abilene of the TTEC. We used state-of-the-art modeling software and applied sound judgment and expertise to the secondary data that was available. We have a very high degree of confidence in our findings and believe the dollars speak for themselves,” according to Jinkerson.

About J&A Consulting Group, LLC
J&A Consulting Group (J&A) is a team of independent consultants with more than 80 years’ collective business and industry experience providing consulting expertise in human resources, evaluation, marketing, compensation, finance and economics. They have significant experience in management, organization theory and operations, financial operations, and marketing and consumer behavior. Primary research on the Trailblazer study was conducted by Dr. Ian Shepherd, associate professor of Economics at Abilene Christian University (ACU), and Dr. Darryl Jinkerson, associate professor of Management at ACU.

About Tenaska 
Tenaska is an energy company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, that develops, constructs, owns and operates non-utility generation and cogeneration plants. The company also markets natural gas, biofuels and electric power, and provides risk management services. Tenaska is involved in asset acquisition, fuel supply, natural gas exploration, production and transportation systems, and electric transmission development. Tenaska has developed approximately 9,000 MW of electric generating capacity across the United States. Tenaska’s affiliates operate and manage eight power plants in six states totaling more than 6,700 MW of generating capacity owned in partnership with other companies, in addition to providing operations and asset management services for an additional 5,400 MW of capacity. Tenaska Capital Management, an affiliate, provides management services for standalone private equity investments, with more than $5 billion in assets, including nine power plants, gas storage facilities, and transmission infrastructure construction and maintenance operations. In 2008, Tenaska was listed in benchmarking studies by the Natural Resources Defense Council as having the best fleet-wide record in the United States for controlling emissions of CO2 and as one of the top performing companies for controlling emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. For more information about Tenaska, visit

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