NREL Gives Colorado Economic Benefit of More than $800 Million

The net economic benefit of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to Colorado’s economy was $814.8 million in fiscal year 2012, according to a study by the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business.

Jefferson County, where NREL’s main campus is located and where half of NREL’s employees live, enjoyed the greatest economic impact, with $274.6 million. NREL is one of Jefferson County’s largest employers. NREL’s total economic impact to Colorado in FY 2012 is 38.5 percent higher than the $588.3 million impact in FY 2009. The laboratory supported approximately 2,300 jobs in 2012.

According to the study, operating and capital expenditures showed a small decline in FY 2012 – by 1.6 percent to $405.5 million, compared to FY 2011. Of the $63.7 million in operating expenditures – excluding salaries, benefits, construction, rents and other categories – in FY 2012, about 90 percent remained within the state of Colorado, and 30 percent remained in Jefferson County.

Total salary compensation for NREL’s employees was $192.7 million, down 3.1% from the year before. Of the staff, 68% were involved in core research and development – occupations such as engineers, scientists, analysts, postdoctoral researchers, and IT professionals. Thirty-two percent were employed in business support operations in such areas as human resources, budgeting, administration, communications, and legal.

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