Do wind turbines negatively impact our health?
No. When properly sited, wind turbines are a safe and effective means of generating electricity.
Wind energy actually provides significant public health benefits by improving air quality which helps to reduce asthma and breathing related illnesses.4
The first wind turbines came online in the U.S. in the 1980’s – and people have been safely living and working around wind turbines for generations.
The weight of scientific evidence, including more than 80 peer-reviewed studies, shows properly sited wind turbines are not related to adverse health effects.1,2 This includes concerns around: audible noise, low frequency noise, infrasound, and shadow flicker.
Studies have found the mere preception of a negative impact, known in the scientific-medical profession as the “nocebo” effect (the opposite of the “placebo” effect) can lead individuals who are subject to misinformation about wind energy to mis-report negative health effects when there actually is no evidence for the health effects.3
1 “Wind turbines and health: a critical review of the scientific literature,” R. McCunney, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2014.
2 “Health effects and wind turbines: a review of the literature,” L. Knopper and C. Ollson, Environmental Health 2011.
3 “The Link Between Health Complaints and Wind Turbines: Support for the Nocebo Expectations Hypothesis,” F. Chrichton, Frontiers in Public Health, 2014.
4 “The climate and air-quality benefits of wind and solar power in the United States,” Millstein, Wiser, Bolinger and Barbose. Nature Energy, August 2017.
What impact will a wind farm have on my property value?
Despite what you may have heard, multiple studies have concluded that wind farms pose no significant long-term impact to property values.
Wind energy projects drive economic development, job growth, and tax revenue for their host communities, which benefits landowners, neighbors, and land values in the area.
Landowners who host a wind turbine on their property earn regular lease payments that transfer with the sale of the property, adding to its value. While some potential property buyers may be hesitant to purchase land near wind turbines, academic studies show that the positive impacts of a wind energy project either balance or outweigh any negative impacts.
As an example, a study of more than 50,000 home sales among 27 counties in nine states found no statistical evidence that home prices near wind farms were affected by the wind farm.1 Another study conducted in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, found there was no statistically relevant relationship between the presence of a wind project and negative effects on property values.2
1 Wind Farm Proximity and Property Values: A Pooled Hedonistic Regression Analysis of Property Values in Central Illinois. Jennifer L. Hinman, (May 2010).
2 A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States. Hoen, B., Brown, J., Jackson, T., Wiser, R., Thayer, M. and Cappers, P. (2013). Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA. 151 pages.
3 County Assessor Reports Spike in Home and Property Values Near Calhan Wind Farm, 02/18/2016, The Gazette [Colorado], Ryan Maye Handy.
The Impact of Wind Power Projects on Residential Property Values in the United States: A Multi-Site Hedonic Analysis. Hoen, B., Wiser, R., Cappers, P., Thayer, M. and Sethi, G. (2009). Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA. December, 2009. 146 pages. LBNL-2829E.
What happens at the end of a wind farm’s useful life?
A wind farm is designed to operate for at least 20-30 years, during which time it will be carefully managed and maintained. Over time, we can also replace aging wind turbines with newer, more efficient technology to extend their useful lives for many more years.
When turbines are eventually decommissioned, we remove the wind turbines and return the landscape to its original condition.
To ensure taxpayers do not pay for removing any part of a wind farm, as part of a decommissioning, our company makes financial commitments to pay the full costs of removal.
In a typical decomissioning, every component of the turbine within four feet of the surface is removed from the site. We approach the landowners prior to the decommissioning to determine, at their discretion, if they want any of the infrastructure (particularly the roads) left behind for the benefit of their operations.
This ensures farming, ranching and other future land uses can continue, unimpeded by any remnants of the wind farm.