STUDY: Wind Farms Do Not Hurt Property Values

The presence of commercial-scale wind turbines does not appear to harm “viewshed” property values, according to a study the Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP) presented on May 20 at WINDPOWER 2003, the annual Conference and Exhibition of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) in Austin, Texas. This is the first national analysis of data which refutes a claim often advanced by wind energy opponents.

Washington D.C. – May 29, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The REPP study is the first to systematically analyze property values data in order to examine the charge often voiced by wind farm opponents that wind development will lower the value of property within view of the turbines. Wind power has grown at an average rate of 24.5 percent in the U.S. over the past five years, and there are now utility-scale projects in 27 states across the country. A search by REPP for either European or U.S. studies on the effect of wind development on property values showed that no systematic review had yet been undertaken. “We are pleased to see that the first systematic study on the issue of property values and wind power development yields the good news for landowners that wind projects do not harm viewshed property values,” said AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher. ” It will be important to continue to collect data as more projects come online, and make the results available to all interested parties, including local communities, landowners, and siting authorities.” “REPP gathered an extensive database and examined over 25,000 property transactions,” said REPP Research Director George Sterzinger. “If there were any systematic harm to property values from wind power projects, it would have shown up in the data.” The REPP study looked at wind development projects with a generating capacity of 10 MW or more that were installed in the U.S. from 1998 to 2001, and analyzed data from the projects for which there were enough sales or other data to support statistical analysis. The study found no evidence that property values decreased as a result of the wind farms. In fact, the study found that “for the great majority of projects the property values actually rose more quickly in the view shed than they did in the comparable community. Moreover, values increased faster in the view shed after the projects came on-line than they did before.” The research group noted that values may have risen because of factors other than wind. For a copy of the study, contact REPP at publications@repp.org or look up the REPP Web site below.
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