No Evidence of Residential Property Impacts Near Wind Turbines According to Third Berkeley Lab Study

January 2014

Massachusetts focused-study finds other factors, such as proximity to highways, beaches have price impact

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) along with University of Connecticut analyzed more than 122,000 home sales near 26 wind facilities (with over 1,500 within a mile of operating turbines) in densely populated Massachusetts, yet was unable to uncover any impacts to nearby home property values.

"This is the third of three major studies we have conducted on this topic [the first was published in 2009, and the second last August], and in all studies [using three different datasets] we find no statistical evidence that operating wind turbines have had any measureable impact on home sales prices," says Ben Hoen, the co-author of the new report.

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

One of the unique contributions of this most recent study is that impacts from turbines as well as a suite of other environmental amenities and disamenities were investigated. The study found strong evidence that highways, major roads, electricity transmission lines, open space and beaches impact property values, but no similar evidence was uncovered for turbines.

"When we find our model so accurately predicts impacts from other amenities and disamenities, we are considerably more confident of our findings for turbines", says lead author Carol Atkinson-Palombo, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography of the University of Connecticut.

This study, the most comprehensive to-date, in terms of numbers of transactions, builds on both the previous U.S.-wide Berkeley Lab studies as well as 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 consistently failed to materialize in all of the major U.S. studies conducted thus far", says Hoen.

The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and by Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. For more, visit www.lbl.gov.

Created by the Green Jobs Act of 2008, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers.

Additional Information:

Download the new 2014 UConn / LBNL report "Relationship between Wind Turbines and Residential Property Values in Massachusetts"

To register for a related webinar on the New 2014 LBNL / UConn Report at 12:30 PM Eastern Time, January 22nd, 2014 go here: Webinar

Download the 2013 LBNL report "A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States"

Download the 2009 LBNL Report "The Impact of Wind Power Projects on Residential Property Values in the United States: A Multi-Site Hedonic Analysis"

For more information on the report, contact Ben Hoen (bhoen@lbl.gov, 845-758-1896) or Carol Atkinson-Palombo (carol.atkinson-palombo@uconn.edu, 860-486-3023).

Contacts

Ben Hoen BHoen@lbl.gov (845) 758-1896

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Format: 2014-12-22
Format: 2014-12-22

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