in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

The planning, construction and operation of wind turbines in Rhode Island does not depress nearby property values, according to a study conducted by a University of Rhode Island (URI) economist.

Corey Lang, URI assistant professor of natural resource economics, analyzed the sale prices of 48,000 homes in Rhode Island over the last 15 years and compared homes near one of the state's 12 wind turbines to homes far from the turbines. He found that the turbines may cause a drop in property values of 0.4% for those homes within a half mile of a turbine, which is well within the study’s margin of error.

“Proximity to a turbine has no statistical effect on property values,” says Lang. He recently presented the results of his study to about 60 people at a public meeting sponsored by the URI Outreach Center and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, which funded his research.

Rhode Island’s first wind turbine was constructed in 2006, and since that time, another 11 turbines at 10 sites have been built. Lang’s analysis included property value comparisons before construction was announced at each site, following the announcement, during construction and during each turbine’s operation. He found no statistically significant negative effects on house prices during the post-announcement or post-construction time periods.

“Construction of most of the wind turbines in Rhode Island took place during the period of the housing market downturn, so there was a general downward trend for housing prices for much of the period I studied,” Lang explains. “But that downward trend was similar for those properties far away from the turbines as well as for those up to a half mile from the turbines.”

According to Lang, a number of other related studies elsewhere in the country have drawn conflicting conclusions, with some finding negative effects of wind turbines on property values and others finding no effects. But he notes all previous research has examined large wind farms in sparsely populated areas like Iowa and Texas, circumstances that are very different than in Rhode Island.

“One of the reasons that wind turbines are so contentious in Rhode Island is that our population density is high and there are so many houses all around turbine sites. That worries people,” he says. “However, that density provides me with much more data than other studies have had access to.”

Lang says that a similar study is under way in Massachusetts, where the circumstances are much like those in Rhode Island - a densely populated area with single turbines being constructed in scattered locations around the state. The results of the Massachusetts study are due in the next six months.

“What I’m hoping is that my analysis provides additional input for future decision making,” Lang says. “I hope that people understand the results and take them seriously as they continue the debate about wind turbine siting.”



Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Eagle Take Permits For Wind Farms - Will They Fly?

Now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued the first permit allowing the legal take of eagles, can wind developers expect more certainty in the agency's application process?


Despite 2013 Challenges, U.S. Wind Power Reaches All-Time Low Price

In a new report, the U.S. Department of Energy details the highs and lows of the country's wind industry last year, and the agency maintains that the U.S. sector remains strong.


Mexico On Pace To Set New Renewables Investment Record

A new report says the country has spent $1.3 billion on clean energy in the first half of 2014 and could end up seeing a record year. Furthermore, wind power is slated for significant growth in the region.


IRS Issues More PTC Guidance, Easing Some Wind Industry Concerns

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) addresses how much work is needed on a wind farm to satisfy production tax credit (PTC) eligibility.


Embryonic No More: U.S. Offshore Wind Industry Gaining Momentum

After a decade of fits and starts, the industry is moving closer to installing the first generation of wind projects off the country's shores.

Renewable NRG_id1934
Canwea_id1984
Tower Conference_id1965