Wind Farms do not Affect Property Value
After analyzing over 50,000 home sales near 67 wind facilities in 27 counties across nine US states, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) concluded that wind farms (a leading renewable energy source) do not affect the value of nearby residental property.
The new report, funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), is based on site visits, data collection, and analysis of almost 7,500 single-family home sales, making it the most comprehensive and data-rich analysis to date on the potential impact of U.S. wind projects on residential property values.
“This is the second of two major studies we have conducted on this topic [the first was published in 2009], and in both studies [using two different datasets] we find no statistical evidence that operating wind turbines have had any measureable impact on home sales prices,” Ben Hoen, the lead author of the new report, said.
The team of researchers for the project collected data on homes situated within 10 miles of 24 existing wind facilities in nine different U.S. states; the closest home was 800 feet from a wind facility. Each home in the sample was visited to collect important on-site information such as whether wind turbines were visible from the home. The home sales used in the study occurred between 1996 and 2007, spanning the period prior to the announcement of each wind energy facility to well after its construction and full-scale operation.
“It took three years to collect all of the data and analyze more than 50 different statistical model specifications,” says co-author and project manager Ryan Wiser of Berkeley Lab, “but without that amount of effort, we would not have been confident we were giving stakeholders the best information possible.”
The study used a number of techniques to control for other potential impacts on home prices, including collecting data that spanned well before the wind facilities’ development was announced to after they were constructed and operating.
This allowed the researchers to control for any pre-existing differences in home sales prices across their sample and any changes that occurred due to the housing bubble, the lab said.
“Although there have been claims of significant property value impacts near operating wind turbines that regularly surface in the press or in local communities, strong evidence to support those claims has failed to materialize in all of the major US studies conducted thus far”, says Hoen.
Hoen continued, “Moreover, our findings comport with the large set of studies that have investigated other potentially similar dis-amenities, such as high voltage transmission lines, landfills, and noisy roads, which suggest that widespread impacts from wind turbines would be either relatively small or non-existent.”