Debunked: Wind Turbines Don’t Affect Property Values

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Debunked: Wind Turbines Don’t Affect Property Values
wind turbines

Photo by Felix

“Conventional” wisdom, often covered in press reports concerning the latest anti-wind turbine protest, states that wind turbines significantly impact property value. Some say the wind turbines’ futuristic image, reaching high above the skyline, are an eyesore. More claim that the construction work in already-developed neighbourhoods decrease neighbourhood appeal. Others attribute this impact to the mental health impacts that the turbines’ sound waves have on nearby homeowners. While these concerns may seem legitimate on paper and in the middle of protest rallies, the claims actually have no factual backing.

According to the most recent study by Lawrence Berkeley National Research Laboratory, wind turbines and wind farms do not actually have an appreciably negative effect on home values. The study analyzed more than 50,000 home sale near 67 wind farms in 27 counties across 9 states. These homes were within 10 miles of the wind facilities, with over 1,000 sales being made within a mile of a turbine. As well, the data span periods before the plans to erect a nearby wind turbine was announced and after the turbine was constructed. The study is the latest in a series of papers that analyze the effect of wind turbines on nearby property values. The previous papers were published in 2009 and 2011 and, while smaller than the currently published research paper, had the same results.

“Regardless of model specification, [the researchers] found no statistical evidence that home values near turbines were affected in the post-construction or post-announcement/pre-construction periods…”

The lead researcher of the study, Ben Hoen, was direct is stopping any loose interpretations of their study. “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 fair,” said Hoen in a press release.

Interestingly, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers found similar academic studies in small communities in New York, Ontario, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Only the German study found any evidence that wind turbines affect property values.

These studies provide wind turbine supports with even more ammunition to combat anti-turbine protestors. Increasingly, it seems that many of the protestors’ concerns — from the repeatedly debunked “wind turbine syndrome” to the false claims about decreased property values — are grounded on false rhetoric. In order for the U.S. to continue supporting alternative energy plans, it needs to first remove these doubts that have managed to affect public discourse. With any luck, studies like these will make the public more unanimous in supporting wind turbines.


Jerico is an English and Creative Writing student at the University of Toronto. He believes strongly in technology’s potential to reverse the damage that’s been done to the environment – if we can only cooperate as a global community! He hopes that, by writing progressive and informed articles, he too can make a difference in his community.

  • Laura Griffin

    Hey Jerico!!! How many 500 foot tall wind turbines do you have surrounding your home???

    Let’s get real here, okay? If you wanted to purchase a home in the country, which would you choose, if the price was the same on both homes.

    a) A lovely house with an uninterrupted view of all the countryside around you…..trees, fields, wildflowers, birds, maybe a river….nature in all its glory, so that you could sit outside at night and “listen” to the quiet.

    or

    b) A lovely house surrounded on all sides by 500 to 600 foot tall industrial electricity generating machines — as far as the eye could see — with the accompanying shadow flicker, ground vibrations, infrasound, and red lights blinking on and off all night long. You can’t have your windows open at night to let in the cool breezes, because that’s when wind turbines are the loudest (when the air is heavy). You have to have all the curtains and shades drawn for a few hours each day so that you don’t get that strobe-light effect from the shadow flicker. You can’t get a decent nights sleep because the vibrations come through the foundation of your home and right through your pillow. You can’t sit out on your deck at night to watch the stars because the blinking red lights are too much of a distraction.

    And you want us to believe that you’d pay the same price for both places. I call B.S. on this study and B.S. on your article. Let’s start using common sense here and stop trying to convince people of something that your brain tells you just isn’t so.

  • Jamie Clemons

    They don’t look any worse than street lights or power poles which once everyone got used to they promptly ignored.