National lab reiterates: Wind power doesn't affect property values

National lab reiterates: Wind power doesn't affect property values
In another major study released today on wind farms and property values, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) analyzed more than 50,000 home sales near 67 wind facilities in 27 counties across nine U.S. states, yet was unable to uncover any impacts to nearby home property values.

“This is the second of two major studies we have conducted on this topic [the first was published in 2009 – download the 2009 LBNL Report], 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,” says Ben Hoen, the lead author of the new report.

Mr. Hoen is a researcher in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Berkeley Lab.


The new study, the laboratory said in a news release, used a number of sophisticated techniques to control for other potential impacts on home prices, including collecting data that spanned a time period from well before the wind facilities’ development was announced to after they were constructed and operating. This allowed 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.

This study, the most comprehensive to-date, builds on both the previous Berkeley Lab study as well a number of other academic and published U.S. studies, which also generally find no measureable impacts near operating turbines.

“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 U.S. studies conducted thus far," says Mr. Hoen.  “Moreover, our findings comport with the large set of studies that have investigated other potentially similar disamenities, such as high voltage transmission lines, land fills, and noisy roads, which suggest that widespread impacts from wind turbines would be either relatively small or nonexistent.”

The report was authored by Ben Hoen (Berkeley Lab), Jason P. Brown (formerly USDA, now Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City), Thomas Jackson (Texas A & M and Real Property Analytics), Ryan Wiser (Berkeley Lab), Mark Thayer (UC San Diego) and Peter Cappers (Berkeley Lab). The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Energy – Shirley Wind Farm, Wisconsin

Additional Information:

Download the report  “A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States

Related articles:

Illinois study positive on property values, October 24, 2010
Scratch another complaint about wind off the list, December 2, 2009



John M. Anderson is Senior Director of Siting Policy for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). In this capacity Anderson is an industry leader in the area of siting policy and advocacy, and guides the industry in addressing siting issues as they relate to wildlife, sound/health impacts, property values, visual and cultural resources, aviation, and radar. He has long been involved in some of the key siting challenges facing the industry, including issues related to threatened and endangered avian and bat species. Prior to joining AWEA, Anderson was Eastern Regional Manager of Environmental Affairs for BP Wind Energy where he was the senior environmental permitting and policy advisor responsible for the development of new wind energy projects in the eastern half of the U.S. as well as management of post-construction environmental issues at BP Wind’s operating facilities across the U.S. Anderson has a B.S. in Environmental Science and Management and a minor in Environmental Law from the University of Rhode Island and has over 20 years of professional experience in the areas of environmental analysis, planning, permitting, and regulation.

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