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Berkeley Lab Study Finds No Evidence of Residential Property Value Impacts Near U.S. Wind Turbines

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—see below], 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.

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

The new study used a number of sophisticated 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.

Two wind turbines in an agricultural field.

Berkeley Lab research confirms no measureable impacts of declining property values near wind turbines.

This study, the most comprehensive to date, builds on both the previous Berkeley Lab study and a number of other academic and published U.S. studies that 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 Hoen. "Moreover, our findings comport with the large set of studies that have investigated other potentially similar disamenities, 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."

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 (San Diego State University), and Peter Cappers (Berkeley Lab).

For more information:

  • Ben Hoen
  • (845) 758-1896
  • Ryan Wiser
  • (510) 486-5474

Additional information:

Download the new 2013 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

More information about DOE's Wind Program.

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

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