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Friday, December 26, 2014

More wind knocked out of opposition

Do Wind Turbines Affect Property Values?
Ge Gif animated GIFFrom: University of Guelph 

EDITOR’S NOTE: During Charlestown’s long battle over the Whalerock commercial wind farm proposal, property value losses due to wind turbines were one of the few non-health related issues raised by local NIMBYs.

Wind turbine developments have no effect on property values of nearby homes and farms, according to new research from the University of Guelph.

Published in a recent issue of the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, the study is believed the first peer-reviewed study on this issue in Canada.

It was conducted by Richard Vyn, a professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, and Ryan McCullough, a former U of G graduate student and now a policy analyst for Health Canada.

They analyzed more than 7,000 home and farm sales in Melancthon Township and 10 surrounding townships in Dufferin, Grey, Simcoe and Wellington counties. Melancthon, located about 100 kilometres northwest of Toronto, is home to one of Ontario’s first and largest wind farms; 133 wind turbines were erected between 2005 and 2008.

The study included sales data over an eight-year period – from 2002 to 2010 – to capture property values before, during and after the wind farm’s development. During that period, more than 1,000 homes and farms were resold — some multiple times, which allowed for repeat sales analysis.

Using a method common in real estate studies, the researchers created six models accounting for the impact on property values of proximity to the wind farm development and turbine visibility, as well as a combination of these two factors.

In every case, they found wind farms had “no statistically significant effect” on property values.
The researchers had expected to find a negative correlation, especially for residential properties.

“This may help address the controversy that exists in Ontario regarding the impact of wind turbines on property values,” Vyn said.

A current court battle in Ontario about wind energy developments involves families in Huron County and the K2 Wind Energy Power Project.

Across the province, residents have called on the government to delay wind farm development until the impacts are better understood.

Such public opposition is what prompted the research, Vyn said.

“It’s been in the news for a while now, and it seems to be generating more and more concerns among local residents. I wanted to see whether the stories people are telling and the concerns that they are expressing show up in the sales data.”

Before now, no scientific study in Ontario had focused on wind turbines and property values, and few studies anywhere used actual sales data, which “gives you a much more accurate picture of what’s going on,” Vyn said.

Continue reading at the University of Guelph.