Library filed under Property Values
This letter, written by Tom Hewson, responds to a New York State resident who had inquired about the impact of industrial wind turbines on property values. The letter specifically critiques the REPP study. It provides as well an overview of other studies that existed as of Fall 2003. "The issue simply comes down to nuisance and aesthetics. If the project creates a nuisance (noise, shadow flicker, TV/cell phone interference, radar interference), it can cause lower property values to adversely affected areas. People can simply apply their own personal evaluation criteria to determine the extent of the property change. What would it be worth to you? Generally, the bigger the nuisance, the larger the devaluation. Localities can minimize nuisances from wind projects by setting minimum setbacks, proper location siting and noise limits. My concern with the REPP study is that it doesn't try to examine the nuisance effect by selecting a large 5 mile area."
Written by Jonathan Haughton, Douglas Giuffre and John Barrett, this report addresses the prospective impact on the Cape Cod economy of 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound. The study includes the responses of tourists and residents to the aesthetics of the proposed project as well as the result of a survey among tourists on the degree to which the project would influence their desire to visit the area. The authors conclude that 'caution' is in order. A follow-up study entitled "Free but Costly" An Economic Analysis of a Wind Farm in Nantucket Sound" was published in March 2004.
This is the study by Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP) that is often pointed to by wind developers as evidence that industrial wind turbines do not adversely impact property values. Its methodology has been widely discredited. Hoen's critique is of particular interest and is included below. Hoen's own study of Fenner is available via the link provided at the end of Hoen's comments.
Study Objectives Primary Analysis Questions: 1) Determine effect of wind turbines on residential property values 2) Determine economic impacts to local economy 3) Estimate new tax revenues for Kittitas County from proposed wind farm. This study along with the REPP study are the two most often cited by wind developers to support their claim that industrial windplants do not adversely affect property values.
ECO-Northwest’s 1-month, $15,000 study, sponsored by the local business lobby organization, the Phoenix Group, has been met with deep skepticism in the Kittitas Valley. Regardless of how people feel about wind farms in this valley, most people recognize this report as simply a blatant endorsement of proposed local wind energy projects, bought and paid for by those behind these projects. A local newspaper story about ECO Northwest’s report titled “Are Wind Farm Benefits Full of Hot Air?” (The Yakima Herald-Republic, 10/2102) reflects this public skepticism about the impartiality of this study. The report makes the incredible claim that property values will not be affected and the unsubstantiated claim that the county will receive millions of dollars in increased revenue. Although the wind energy companies state that they will hire only 22 people, the report manages to inflate this to 53 jobs and claims that these people will somehow result in an additional $4.2m being spent within the county. ECO Northwest’s report also neglects to consider the effect of major wind farms on tourism, one of the most important factors in the local economy. It does not consider alternative locations for such projects, or alternative forms of renewable energy in Kittitas County, or whether the county will benefit from the power generated. Nor does it consider that the proposed location for these wind farms is an area that the city of Ellensburg will need for future expansion of its population, an area that will be closed off for housing if wind farms are built there.
The Tennessee Valley Authority proposes to construct and operate a wind farm in Tennessee. TVA also proposes to construct and operate a Regenesys™ Energy Storage facility near the selected wind farm site. The wind farm would demonstrate a technology for generating electric power with minimal environmental pollution to be marketed through TVA’s Green Power Switch® program and would consist of 13 to 16 wind turbines. The Regenesys facility would demonstrate an effective technology for storing the energy generated by the wind farm and releasing it at times of high energy demand. This final environmental assessment examines the potential effects of building on Buffalo Mountain in Anderson County (Alternative 1), building on Stone Mountain in Johnson County (Alternative 2), or not building a 20 MW wind farm and associated energy storage facility (Alternative 3). Appendix F: The Impact of Views on Property Values "Widely varying opinions have been expressed about the potential impact of windfarms on the value of nearby property. For example, the proposed (now cancelled) Addison Wind Farm in Wisconsin became controversial, in part, over allegations about property values. Opponents argued that property values would depreciate significantly if the wind farm were built (Don Behm, 2001). On the other hand, RENEWWisconsin quoted several persons representing the real estate industry in other places in Wisconsin and Iowa where wind projects had been built, saying that such projects had no impact on property values (RENEWWisconsin, 2000)....
Excerpts of the report are provide here. The full report is also available by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page. After the wind turbines went online in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin, the Lincoln Township Board of Supervisors approved a moratorium on new turbine construction. The purpose of the moratorium was to delay new construction of wind turbines for eighteen months, giving the township the opportunity to assess the impacts of the 22 turbines installed by Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPSC) and Madison Gas and Electric (MG&E), which went online in June 1999. The following document summarizes some of the problems the Moratorium Committee faced in trying to address problems the township hadn't faced prior to turbine construction and some of the resulting changes the committee proposed as a result of its study. Verification of this information can be obtained from Lincoln Township officials. Agenda. The Moratorium Committee met 39 times between January 17, 2000, and January 20, 2002, to (1) study the impact of wind factories on land, (2) study the impact on residents, and (3) review conditional use permits used to build two existing wind factories in Lincoln Township. Survey. The committee conducted a survey on the perceived impacts of the wind turbines that was sent out to all property owners residing in the township. Each household received one vote. The results were presented on July 2, 2001, to the town board, two years after the wind factory construction.
This property value assurance plan was offerred by Canastota Wind Power LLC to certain landowners in the immediate vicinity of the Fenner Wind Farm.Editor's Note: As the quality of the attached pdf file is poor, herewith a 'best efforts' re-typing of it.
I am sure FPL Energy and Foley & Lardner will malign this evidence just as they have maligned everything else we have ever said or done. Let them bring on the proof that can convince you that our property values and indeed the tax base of the entire town will not decline if this project were to be built. If FPL Energy and its advocates cannot prove this important fact—then I believe the Plan Commission has a duty to protect all of us, our investments in our homes and property, the Town’s tax base and our future by DENYING FPL Energy’s request for a Conditional Use Permit.
Written in 2000 by the Country Guardian, the UK's leading 'action group', this report addresses comprehensively wind issues in the UK. As one of the first papers of its kind, it is generally viewed as a 'classic' and 'required reading' for those interested in becoming thoroughly familiar with the diverse impacts of industrial wind.