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Resource Documents: Property values (105 items)

RSSProperty values

Unless indicated otherwise, documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are shared here to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate. • The copyrights reside with the sources indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations.

Date added:  December 31, 2022
Economics, Environment, Grid, New York, Property values, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

New York State Great Lakes Wind Energy Feasibility Study

Author:  New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

[from Summary:]

Based on the totality of this analysis, this concludes that Great Lakes Wind currently does not offer a unique, critical, or cost-effective contribution toward the achievement of New York State’s Climate Act goals beyond what existing, more cost-competitive programs are currently expected to deliver. This conclusion is based on a fulsome analysis of the resource development costs, ratepayer impacts, expected State benefits, transmission and interconnection limitations, infrastructure and supply chain constraints, visual impacts, and potential environmental impacts of Great Lakes Wind, as discussed below and throughout the Feasibility Study.

The Feasibility Study analyzed the physical characteristics of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario to determine that they would require a combination of fixed offshore wind foundations in Lake Erie and floating offshore wind foundations in Lake Ontario. The Feasibility Study further notes that the potential theoretical buildout of the New York areas of each lake could result in a generation capacity of up to 1,600 megawatts (MW) in Lake Erie and up to 15,000 MW in Lake Ontario. But this theoretical and technical potential faces numerous practical considerations that would need to be addressed before such projects can be successfully commercialized and benefit the State. These practical considerations include higher relative costs compared to alternative renewable energy generation, risks associated with new technologies (e.g., floating wind platforms and ice loading), lack of an existing supply chain, lack of adequate port facilities and specialized vessels, limited Points of Interconnection (POIs) and associated transmission headroom, and challenges related to visual impacts, wildlife impacts, and uncertainties with regards to environmental risks as well as conflicts with other lake uses including commercial and recreational fishing, shipping, and navigation.

The Feasibility Study estimates costs associated with Great Lakes Wind that at first appear comparable to costs under the Offshore Wind Standard. However, when comparing the costs and benefits of Great Lakes Wind to other renewable energy options in the State’s portfolio, the appropriate comparison is to land-based renewables and not offshore wind projects.

Great Lakes Wind does not provide the same electric and reliability benefits that offshore wind offers New York State. The PSC adopted the Offshore Wind Standard “… because of its proximity and direct access to load centers, offshore wind would provide substantial reliability and diversity benefits to the electric system […] It may also produce significant public health benefits by displacing fossil-fired generation in the downstate area.”4 Great Lakes Wind projects would not have the same proximity and direct access to load centers (Zones J and K) or displace downstate fossil-fired generation. Therefore, at the interconnection points of Great Lakes Wind projects in Central and Western New York, the more appropriate cost comparison is with more cost-effective technologies typically sited in that region such as land-based wind and solar.

This white paper finds that Great Lakes Wind projects would be significantly more costly for ratepayers to support than projects currently advanced under Tier 1 of the Clean Energy Standard (CES), such as land-based wind and solar. For example, the 2021 Tier 1 solicitation resulted in Index REC Strike Prices between $42 and $63/MWh, which is 55 to 230 percent cheaper than the $98 to $138/MWh range estimated for Great Lakes Wind projects. Moreover, that cost differential could increase further as the Feasibility Study cost estimates of Great Lakes Wind do not fully account for additional costs associated with interconnection, infrastructure, and labor, which would require site-specific evaluations and more detailed modeling.

The potential grid Points of Interconnection (POIs) identified for Great Lakes Wind in the Feasibility Study are in areas with limited hosting capacity, with competition from other less expensive land-based renewable generation projects which are also advancing in this region. As a result, Great Lakes Wind projects would incur high interconnection costs to advance and would displace lower-cost alternatives.

From an infrastructure perspective, ports around the Great Lakes would need, in some cases, significant upgrades to support the development of these projects, and in-lakes vessels or purpose-built vessels would need to be used for construction and operation. The required ports, vessel infrastructure, and supply chain investments needed to execute Great Lakes Wind were not quantified in the Feasibility Study and would add to the overall cost of Great Lakes Wind.

Substantial public and regulatory concerns have also challenged wind energy projects in and around the Great Lakes, primarily due to anticipated viewshed impacts and implications of the projects on wildlife. Through the public feedback events and webinars, the public expressed a wide range of interest, both in support of and expressing concerns about Great Lakes Wind. Viewshed, environmental, and public health issues are the primary concerns, and job creation and economic development opportunities are the primary arguments supporting Great Lakes Wind. The Feasibility Study demonstrates that the visual impacts of Great Lakes Wind, at least in Lake Erie, would be considerable given the need for a relatively limited distance from shore necessary to support a project at scale in that lake. For example, in Lake Erie, limiting the viewshed impact by siting turbines beyond 12 miles from shore would reduce the potential hosting capacity from 1,600 MW to less than 200 MW and further diminish the economic viability of these projects.

With regards to the impact of Great Lakes Wind on wildlife species and the environment, this issue is exacerbated by the lack of data relating to the temporal and spatial distributions of wildlife both at specific locations and across the Great Lakes as a whole, including data on aerial fauna, fish habitats, benthic communities, and human uses. Further, sediment contamination is widespread but not well mapped to support least impact site identification. And the extent and duration to which Great Lakes Wind development could resuspend or redistribute these contaminants are uncertain. Each of these issues imparts development risks and uncertainties to potential projects. These issues are not necessarily insurmountable, but additional research, data collection, and analysis are warranted to identify areas of lowest risk and support project development certainty.

While the Feasibility Study identifies job and other economic benefits that could arise from Great Lakes Wind development, without the strategic case for Great Lakes Wind as a critical contributor to the Climate Act goals, these benefits alone do not justify the high level of ratepayer cost given the renewable energy alternatives that have already demonstrated their ability to contribute in more beneficial ways. NYSERDA has not identified unique characteristics of Great Lakes Wind that reflect a component otherwise missing in the State’s efforts to achieve the Climate Act goals. The response rate to Tier 1 solicitations indicates an adequate development pipeline in the geographies where Great Lakes Wind could interconnect to and already maximize the contribution from those areas to at least the 70 percent renewables by 2030 target. Without unique characteristics that would set Great Lakes Wind apart from more cost-effective contributors towards the Climate Act goals, the high additional cost is challenging to justify, at least with a view to the 2030 target.

After completing the Feasibility Study and considering these various dimensions collectively, NYSERDA recommends that now is not the right time to prioritize Great Lakes Wind projects in Lake Erie or Lake Ontario.

New York State Great Lakes Wind Energy Feasibility Study

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Date added:  November 5, 2022
Colorado, Property valuesPrint storyE-mail story

Impact Analysis of the Niyol Wind Farm on Surrounding Rural Residential and Agricultural Land Values in Logan County, Colorado

Author:  Forensic Appraisal GroupForensic Appraisal Group

Prepared for Concerned Citizens for a Safe Logan County, Sterling, Colorado, by Forensic Appraisal Group, Neenah, Wisconsin – June 11, 2020

This report was contracted by Concerned Citizens for a Safe Logan County for our opinion on how the 200.8MW Niyol Wind LLC will impact rural residential and agricultural farm values within the wind farm footprint and 1-mile outside of this zone of this proposed wind farm.

Niyol Wind is a wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy. The wind farm is located in the Fleming area, Logan County, Colorado. The conditional use permit submitted by Niyol states that the wind farm will occupy 39,314 acres of area. The development will have 89 wind turbines, having a height (including the tower and blades at 12 o’clock position) of 495ft-505ft. The project will include graveled access roads over private land to the wind turbines, a maintenance area of approximately 4-acres, a substation of 10-acres graveled with a chain-link security fence and outside yard lighting, two meteorological towers being 275ft in height, underground and above ground electrical supply lines and a thirty-one mile 230kV high voltage transmission line that is to link up with an existing high voltage transmission line for transmission of the produced energy. The three-blade wind turbines will be one of two models: the GE 2.5MW turbine or the GE 2.8MW. The electrical collector lines are to be buried, the collector substation is above ground and connected to an overhead 230kV high voltage transmission line.

The study results are summarized as follows.

Literature Study

The media generally portrays the impact of wind turbines on residential properties as negative, bringing up fear factors and conflicting benefit, or no benefit issues. Overall, the qualitative factor is centered along the lines of health, noise, flicker, and viewshed. With regard to the question, “Do wind turbines affect property value?” the two Centerville Township (Michigan) officials summed it up with this statement: “It is totally counterintuitive to suggest anything else.”

Impact Studies

Wind industry and government supported studies found little to no evidence of an impact. However, independent studies found a significant impact using a variety of valuation methods from paired sales analysis to multi-regression analysis.

The Landsink (Ontario, CA) study found a loss range of −8.85% to −50%, with a loss average of −39% for residential homes within 664ft to 2,531ft of a wind farm.

The Appraisal Group One Wisconsin Study found a typical loss of 1-10 acre residential lots within 1⁄2-mile of wind turbines to be −19% to −40%.

The Clarkson University upstate New York study of both residential and agricultural properties found a loss ranging from −15.6% to −31% within 1-3 miles of a wind farm.

The Forensic Appraisal Coral Springs (WY) study of large residential lots (35 acres) which would be abutting a proposed wind farm suffered a value impact of −25% to −44%.

The McCann study (IL) of residential properties found an average impact of −25% within 2-miles of a wind farm.

The Forensic Appraisal Big Sky (IL) study found a loss range of −12% to −25% of residences within 0.31mi to 1.72mi of a wind turbine, with an average impact of −19% at an average distance of 0.65 miles to a wind turbine.

The Twin Grove II Wind Farm (McLean County, IL) study of a 198MW wind farm comprised of 120 turbines being 397ft in height over an 11,000 acres area. A paired sales analysis of residential property within the influence of the wind farm found the improved property is negatively impacted by the presence of wind turbines. The impact measured ranged from −46.6% to −7.7%, with the higher impact closest to the wind turbines and the impact diminishing as the distance is increased. The distances measured ranged 1,483ft to 5,481ft away from a residence.

The Twin Grove II Wind Farm also found an overall impact of −6.63% to −8.5% for vacant agricultural properties within the wind farm zone.

We conclude that the following impacts will be experienced by the Niyol wind farm on the client’s properties:

Download original document: “Impact Analysis of the Niyol Wind Farm on Surrounding Rural Residential and Agricultural Land Values in Logan County, Colorado

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Date added:  September 7, 2022
Economics, Emissions, Environment, Health, Noise, Property valuesPrint storyE-mail story

Wind power harms the environment, fuels bad energy policies and poor investments

Author:  Gitt, Brian

I love the *idea* of wind power. It sounds natural. Clean. Moral. But in reality, wind power harms the environment & people—especially low-income people. The myths about wind power are fueling bad energy policies & poor investments. The facts make it all look ridiculous.

2/ MYTH: wind power helps the environment.

Wind power requires excessive mining & land use. It industrializes coastline & kills wildlife.

Nuclear & natural gas power plants reduce CO₂ emissions more effectively.

U.S. Energy Information Administration: “Electric power sector CO2 emissions drop as generation mix shifts from coal to natural gas”

3/ Wind turbines are made from minerals, petrochemicals, & fossil fuels.

Building a single 2 MW windmill uses 187 tons of coal—the equivalent of 125 pickup trucks full of coal.

Vaclav Smil: “What I See When I See a Wind Turbine”

4/ Building a 100 MW wind farm requires 30,000 tons of iron ore, 50,000 tons of concrete & 900 tons of non-recyclable plastics for the blades—all mined, transported & produced with hydrocarbons.

5/ Wind farms need 360× more land to produce the same amount of energy as a nuclear power plant.

A 200 MW wind farm spans 13+ sq miles (36 sq km). A natural-gas power plant with the same generating capacity could fit onto a single city block.

Dave Merrill, Bloomberg: “The U.S. Will Need a Lot of Land for a Zero-Carbon Economy”

6/ Wind turbines threaten endangered whales & fisheries, & kill hundreds of thousands of birds every year.

Robert Bryce, Real Clear Energy: “The Sierra Club Loves Wind Turbines, Not Whales”

7/ Each wind turbine blade is over 165 feet (50 meters) long & is made from toxic materials that can’t be recycled & that are getting dumped in landfills.

Tens of thousands of these blades will eventually enter the waste stream.

Chris Martin, Bloomberg: “Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills”

8/ There are better ways of reducing climate risk.

The carbon footprint of an offshore wind farm is 3 times larger than the carbon footprint of a nuclear plant.

Building wind farms channels resources away from better ways of reducing climate risk like nuclear power.

9/ MYTH: Wind power helps people.

Households pay more for electricity where there are wind & solar mandates:

German households saw their energy bills increase by 34% between 2010-2020.

American households in CA pay 80% more, & 11% more in 28 other states with mandates.

10/ Lower-income people subsidize wind-power tax credits for the wealthy.

“We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” —Warren Buffett

11/ The wind industry still needs subsidies even after billions in public handouts.

The US Treasury estimates the wind production tax credit will cost taxpayers ~$34 billion from 2020 to 2029. It’s by far the most expensive energy subsidy.

Chart created by @pwrhungry

12/ People who live near wind farms report sleep disturbances, headaches, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, blurry vision, irritability, & problems with concentration & memory.

Jeffery, Krogh, and Horner, Canadian Family Physician: “Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines”

13/ China takes up 7 spots among the world’s top 10 wind turbine manufacturers—where weak environmental regulations prevail & lower production costs are fueled by coal & cheap labor.

14/ Goldwind (2nd largest wind manufacturer in the world) has factories in China’s Xinjiang province, where hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs are working in slave labor conditions.

Jacob Fromer and Cissy Zhou, South China Morning Post: “As US moves to renewable energy, wind turbines from Xinjiang may get caught in political tempest”

15/ MYTH – We can build enough wind farms to meet our energy needs.

People hate living near wind farms.

The farms are loud & large (each is 400-700 ft tall (122-213 m).

They destroy views & hurt property values.

Robert Bryce, Center of the American Experiment: “Not in Our Backyard: Rural America is fighting back against large-scale renewable energy projects”

16/ Public backlash against wind farms is growing in the US & Europe.

Local governments have rejected over 317 US wind projects since 2015.

Renewable Energy Rejection Database, American Experiment: “US Governmental Entities That Moved to Reject or Restrict Wind Projects”

17/ Offshore wind farms sidestep some community conflicts but have other problems.

Building offshore farms is 3× more expensive than onshore.

They threaten endangered whales, fisheries, ocean views & industrialize the coastline.

18/ Wind turbines generate electricity only ~30% of the time because the wind doesn’t always blow.

Every megawatt of wind needs a megawatt of fossil fuel power (usually natural gas) as a backup.

19/ MYTH – Better tech will solve problems with wind power.

The Betz limit in physics caps the maximum efficiency for a wind turbine. At most, only 60% of the kinetic energy from wind can be used to spin the turbine & generate electricity.

20/ Not all tech innovation makes things cheaper.

Offshore wind is getting more expensive. The cost has been increasing by 15% whenever capacity doubles.

Renewable Energy Foundation: “Wind Power Economics – Rhetoric and Reality”

21/ Some people think we’ll be able to store surplus wind energy in batteries. But the world’s largest battery factory (Tesla’s Gigafactory) would need 1,000 years to make enough batteries for 2 days’ worth of US electricity demand. And batteries cost 200× more than natural gas.

22/ Wind farms break down often & don’t last long.

Equipment failures & declining performance make the cost of operating a 16+ yr old wind turbine prohibitive.

Onshore turbines lose 37% output & offshore turbines lose 50% output at 16 yrs.

Gordon Hughes, Renewable Energy Foundation: “Costs, Performance and Investment Returns for Wind Power”

23/ Myths about wind power are driving bad investments & policy decisions.

Dollars spent on them cause harm & suffering to the poorest among us–a high cost for false moral comfort.

Let’s build an energy system that maximizes human flourishing & minimizes environmental harm.

24/ What We Need To Do:

End subsidies & incentives for wind & solar.

Retire the dirtiest coal power plants.

Build new efficient natural gas power plants (and hydro and geothermal where possible).

Reform regulations & build nuclear power plants.

Invest in energy R&D.

Brian Gitt
Feb 15, 2022, Twitter (@BrianGitt)

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Date added:  September 21, 2020
Netherlands, Property valuesPrint storyE-mail story

Wind turbines and solar farms drive down house prices

Author:  Koster, Hans; and Dröes, Martijn

Countries that invest in renewable energy production face frequent opposition from local homeowners. Using a detailed housing transactions dataset covering the whole of the Netherlands since 1985, this column compares the overall impact that wind turbines and solar farms have on housing prices. It finds that tall wind turbines (over 150 metres) have a negative effect, and solar farms generate losses as well (2-3% for homeowners within a 1km orbit). This evidence should be factored into finding the optimal allocation of renewable energy production facilities.

Renewable energy is on the rise (Newbery 2018). While global demand is still strongly increasing amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for fossil fuels has steeply declined (IEA 2020). Wind turbines are an important source of renewable energy, with 30% of total capacity located in Europe and 17% in the US in 2018. China has invested especially heavily in wind energy, overtaking the EU in 2015 as the largest producer of wind energy. Currently, 36% of worldwide capacity is located in China (GWEC 2019). Wind turbines have become taller over time: turbines in the 1980s were still around 30 metres, while the newest generation of wind turbines are well above 100 metres.

A related trend is the commercial production of renewable energy via solar farms. The first solar farm was constructed in 1982 in California. Yet, with advances in technology, the commercial exploitation of solar farms has only become attractive in the last decade or so (Heal 2009). These solar farms have also become bigger over time; the largest solar farm currently is 40km2 and located in Bhadla, India.

Even though wind turbines comprise a larger part of renewable energy production, last year’s growth in solar photovoltaics capacity was about twice that of wind turbines (REN21 2020). Whether the current surge in the construction of tall wind turbines and large solar farms will continue remains to be seen, but some countries have already suggested that the economic recovery after Covid-19 should be a green one (Jordans 2020).

Wind turbines make noise, cast shadows, cause flickering, and visually pollute the landscape, typically leading to substantial opposition from the local population, including homeowners. A similar story applies for ground-mounted solar panels, as they reflect ambient sound, sunlight, create a buzzing sound, and are also not so great to look at. In line with a large literature on hedonic pricing, we would expect that such ‘external effects’ capitalise into local house prices. Increasing our understanding of these external effects is important to gaining insight into the optimal allocation of renewable energy production facilities.

In a recent study (Dröes and Koster 2020), we examine the effects of tall wind turbines and solar farms on residential property values. Using a detailed housing transactions dataset covering the whole of the Netherlands since 1985, and a difference-in-differences regression methodology, we compare changes to house prices in areas that will receive a turbine in the future to areas in which a turbine already has been built, taking into account a host of other factors determining house prices such as location, general economic trends, and housing quality. In this way, we ensure that we compare apples with apples (i.e. houses in areas that have a turbine compared to houses in near-identical areas without a turbine), rather than apples with oranges. A comparable approach is used to measure the effects of solar farms.

In Figures 1a and 1b, we plot the spatial distribution of (respectively) wind turbines and solar farms across the Netherlands. It is easy to observe that turbines are more common than solar farms.

Figure 1a. The location of wind turbines in the Netherlands

Figure 1b. The location of solar farms in the Netherlands

Most solar farms have been built in recent years. Turbines are particularly common in coastal areas where wind is ubiquitous. Solar farms are mainly built in the northwest of the Netherlands, as more space is available to facilitate large solar farms.

With regard to the empirical results for wind turbines, residential property values are negatively impacted when properties are in close proximity to a wind turbine. In particular, the house prices of properties within a 2km radius decrease on average by 2% relative to comparable properties with no wind turbines nearby. However, we find considerable heterogeneity in the effect of turbines on house prices (see Figure 2). For example, a tall wind turbine (>150m tip height) generates a negative price effect of about 5% within 2km, while we do not find a significant effect for turbines below 50m. We show that our results are robust when (i) we allow for changes in perception to wind turbines, (ii) we look at removals of turbines rather than placements, and (iii) we allow for the effects of multiple turbines. Regarding the latter, we find that only the first turbine within 2km has an effect on property prices. From a policy standpoint, this suggest that it is preferable to cluster wind turbines into large wind farms. We also show that the impact area of turbines is essentially the same for turbines taller than 50m, while the effects are more localised for turbines under 50m.

Figure 2. Wind turbines and house prices

Taking the empirical results at face value, we calculate the overall loss in housing wealth as a result of wind turbines and solar farms. It appears that just 25 turbines account for almost 50% of the total loss, which shows that it is very important to build turbines not too close to residential properties. Indeed, the median loss per turbine is much lower and about €166,000, or about €89 per megawatt hour (MWh). Given the construction costs of about €1.27 million per MW, and the median installed capacity of 3MW, the median loss in housing values is about 4.4% of the median construction costs. Interestingly, the median loss per MWh varies considerably across turbines of different heights. For example, because tall turbines generate more power, the median loss per MWh is about €10, while it is €844 for small turbines. Hence, despite the smaller effects of small turbines on house prices, the lower power output means it is not more efficient to build small turbines.

For solar farms the results are less convincing because the number of solar farms is much lower, making the estimated coefficients less precise. Still, we find evidence suggesting that solar farms lead to a house price decrease of about 2-3%. Unsurprisingly, the effect is more localized than the effect of turbines and confined to 1km. Because fewer solar farms are constructed, the total loss is just over €84 million. Here it also seems more informative to look at the median loss of a solar farm, which amounts to about €0.5 million – somewhat larger than the median loss for one turbine. However, this is mainly because solar farms are generally larger and generate more electricity. The median loss per MWh is €63, which is in the same order of magnitude as the median loss per MWh for wind turbines (i.e. €89 per MWh).

Producing energy in a sustainable way is an important step towards a climate-neutral economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (Castle and Hendry 2020). Wind and solar energy are important sources of renewable energy. However, while reductions in CO₂ emissions benefits the whole population, external effects are borne only by households living close to production sites. Hence, insights into these external effects is paramount, as the size of external effects directly informs the local support for the opening of production sites, such as wind turbines and solar farms. Our study shows that the location of production sites of renewable energy matters, as a few sites cause the lion’s share of losses in housing values in the Netherlands. The results also highlight that when building tall turbines in the right locations, reductions in housing values are a relatively small share (<5%) of the total construction costs of turbines.

Hans Koster, Professor of Urban Economics and Real Estate, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Martijn Dröes, Assistant Professor of Real Estate Finance, University of Amsterdam

20 September 2020


Jordans, F (2020), “Germany, Britain call for ‘green recovery’ from pandemic”, Associated Press Berlin, 27 April.

Castle, J and D Hendry (2020), “Decarbonising the Future UK Economy”, VoxEU.org, 4 June.

Dröes, M and H Koster (2020), “Wind turbines, solar farms, and house prices“, CEPR Discussion Paper 15023.

GWEC (2019), Global Wind Report 2018, Global Wind Energy Council.

Heal, G (2009), “Can Renewable Energy Save the World?” VoxEU.org, 29 October.

IEA (2020), Global energy review 2020.

Newbery, D (2018), “Evaluating the Case for Supporting Renewable Electricity”, VoxEU.org, 20 July.

REN21 (2020), Renewables 2020 Global Status Report.

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