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Study: No Evidence of Impact on Property Values from Wind Turbines

Friday, January 10, 2014


There is no statistically-significant evidence that proximity to a wind turbine affects home values, according to an independent analysis report released Thursday.

The report, written by researchers from the University of Connecticut and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, examined 122,000 Massachusetts real estate transactions between 1998 and 2012. It compared transactions within a half-mile of constructed wind turbines to similar transactions between one half-mile and five miles away.

Download the full report here.

“Properly-sited renewable energy projects like wind turbines can deliver clean energy for our citizens and boost our local economy,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton. “This report is designed to provide fact-based research to inform decision-makers on potential impacts wind turbines could have on nearby property.”

The study, commissioned by MassCEC, was co-authored by Carol Atkinson-Palombo, assistant professor of geography at the University of Connecticut, and Ben Hoen, staff research associate of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and was peer-reviewed by a number of leading economists and appraisers before release.

The report compares the relationship between wind turbines and residential home values to those of factors previously shown to affect home prices, like high-voltage transmission lines, landfills, highways, protected open space and proximity to beaches.

Of the impacts studied, landfills and transmission lines have the greatest negative impact (or disamenity) on home prices while beachfront and proximity to beaches were found to have the greatest positive impact (or amenity) on home prices. The study found that operating turbines have a +0.5 percent amenity which falls within the study’s margin of error.

Massachusetts has expanded the number of wind energy projects in the state from just 3 MW and three turbines installed in 2007 to more than 100 MW and dozens of turbines installed now throughout the Commonwealth. This study builds upon the Patrick Administration’s focus on providing municipalities and developers with the research they need to make informed decisions on these types of projects.


Related Slideshow: 9 Challenges Facing Worcester’s New City Manager

Now the Edward Augustus is serving as City Manager for Worcester, GoLocal reached out to the city's leaders to find out what they believe are the biggest challenges Augustus will face in his new role. 

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Keep Forward Momentum

Paul Giorgio, publisher of Pagio, Inc. and a GoLocalWorcester MINDSETTER™:

“Priority One: Keep up the momentum.

Two: Work with the mayor on creating a task force for the north end of Main Street.

Three: Insure that we keep our school renovation plan on track.”

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Economic Development

Councilor Anthony Economou:

“Economic development is huge. We have a lot going on, and we have to keep the momentum up,” Economou said. “Make sure we don't miss a beat. You don't want to lose a period of nine months and not have forward progress.”

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Financial Management

Roberta Schaefer, former president of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau:

Schaefer said continuing the sound financial management of former City Manager Michael O'Brien was the greatest task for Augustus. But in addition to financial questions, she called for Augustus to “follow the lead of Michael O'Brien, to make sure he represents all the interests of the city, as the CEO of the city.

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Business Climate

Tim Murray, president and chief executive officer of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce:

In addition to budgeting and economic development, Murray pointed to fostering the business climate in the city. “Try to make Worcester as business-friendly a place as possible,” he said. Whether through permitting, customer service, or other incentive, “whatever we can do to make the city a supportive (place for business).”

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Budget Concerns

Christopher Pinto, member of the Worcester Republican City Committee:

“Can he really do pension reform? Can he spare the taxpayers from more abusive taxes?” asked Pinto, who wonders what Augustus will do about the Responsible Employer Ordinance and how the new city manager will make appointments to boards and commissions.

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Capital Improvements

Councilor Frederick Rushton:

Rushton said the number one challenge Augustus will face is following through toward new buildings and/or renovations to area high schools in need of capital improvements.

"Second," he said, “is completing CitySquare.”

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Public Safety

Councilor Sarai Rivera:

Rivera points to economic development, neighborhood development, and continuing to support public safety and public service, as well as “working with private and labor to support the (Responsible Employer Ordinance) and look into an apprentice program.”

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Neighborhood Development

Councilor George Russell:

“It's not necessarily 'A, B, and C,' it's more what you want to see overall,” Russell said. “For me, it's more neighborhood orientation.”

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Collective Bargaining

Councilor Anthony Economou:

Economou also cited the upcoming task of collective bargaining with union city workers. “One of the challenges will be the contracts,” Economou said. “I imagine it's on his radar, to get those discussions going.”


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