Sunday, December 7, 2014

Wind turbines don’t depress property values

A new study has found that wind turbines do not reduce property values.

Even authors  Richard Vyn and Ryan McCullough of the University of Guelph say they are surprised by what they found in checking property sales and prices.

The surprising findings, published in the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, come amid an already fiery debate over wind farm impacts and appear to contradict widely-held views among turbine critics.

The study focused on Ontario's Melancthon township – home to one of the country's oldest and largest wind farms – and surrounding areas.

"The lack of significant effects of the Melancthon wind farm is somewhat surprising, given the public outcry regarding the construction of these turbines," according to the authors.

"These results do not corroborate the concerns raised by residents regarding potential negative impacts of turbines on property values."

The researchers analyzed more than 7,000 home and farm sales that occurred between 2002 and 2010 in Melancthon Township, which saw 133 turbines put up between 2005 and 2008, and 10 surrounding townships.

Of those, more than 1,000 homes and farms were sold more than once, some several times.

"These turbines have not impacted the value of surrounding properties," they write in their report.

"Further, the nature of the results, which indicate a lack of significant effects, is similar across both rural residential properties and farm properties."

Vyn said he found the results somewhat surprising given the frequent and public criticisms of turbines.