California, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] With more than 30,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity installed across the United States and more on the way, many communities are concerned about the impact of wind farms on the property values. A new report released today by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) evaluates that concern. The report found that that proximity to wind energy facilities does not have a pervasive or widespread adverse effect on the property values of nearby homes.
The new report, funded by the DOE, is based on site visits, data collection and analysis of almost 7,500 single-family home sales in areas where wind farms have been developed.
“Neither the view of wind energy facilities nor the distance of the home to those facilities was found to have any consistent, measurable, and significant effect on the selling prices of nearby homes,” said report author Ben Hoen, a consultant to Berkeley Lab. “No matter how we looked at the data, the same result kept coming back – no evidence of widespread impacts.”
The data was collected on homes situated within 10 miles of 24 existing wind facilities in nine different U.S. states. 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.
The conclusions of the study are drawn from eight different hedonic pricing models, as well as repeat sales and sales volume models. A hedonic model is a statistical analysis method used to estimate the impact of house characteristics on sales prices. None of the models uncovered conclusive statistical evidence of the existence of any widespread property value effects that might be present in communities surrounding wind energy facilities.
The analysis revealed that home sales prices are very sensitive to the overall quality of the scenic vista from a property, but that a view of a wind energy facility did not demonstrably impact sales prices.
The Berkeley Lab researchers also did not find statistically observable differences in prices for homes located closer to wind facilities than those located further away, or for homes that sold after the announcement or construction of a wind energy facility when compared to those selling prior to announcement. Even for those homes located within a one-mile distance of a wind project, the researchers found no persuasive evidence of a property value impact.