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Wind Turbines Don’t Lower Property Values

One of the arguments people make against wind farms (yes, there are some avid opponents of South Dakota's greates and cleanest potential power source) is that they decrease property values. But that argument doesn't hold up to real data.

Looking at data from 50,000 home sales in 27 counties in nine states (inlcuding our less windy but more wind-powered neighbors Minnesota and Iowa), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers found no appreciable appreciation difference between homes within a mile of a turbine and homes farther out in a ten-mile radius.

Lawrence Berkeley did find a difference in size: the houses and lots closer to wind turbines tended to be smaller. They also quantified the noise pollution: houses a half-mile from a wind farm generally experienced a ten-decibel noise increase, about the same as living near a busy road. Whether those extra ten decibels are more annoying than the screech from the Keystone tar sands oil pipeline's pumping stations is open for debate.


  1. Anne Beal 2013.09.09

    The videos of Danish wind turbines exploding in high winds and sending debris flying out a half mile in all directions might discourage people from living under them

  2. Chris Francis 2013.09.09

    I would argue that the countless chemicals being applied to the fields in what we call 'modern agriculture', and our proximity to that application, need not mention constant consumption of these chemical-laden crops, is a much greater concern and worry for our health than a few decibels of turbine blades. Besides, maybe these blades will finally chase the sod-busting pioneers off the prairie, and we'll have a return of the 'Buffalo Commons' sooner than not.

  3. Jerry 2013.09.09

    Low frequency sounds hit us day in and day out from microwave towers to all sorts of radio, telephone and many other sources. A windmill is the least of my worries Michael Black. If I had the moolah to have one in my back yard, that baby would be singing to me and to my bank account. This is clean safe fuel, lets make it happen in South Dakota, big time.

  4. John Hess 2013.09.09

    I beg to differ. If you built or bought a home in the country for peace and quiet, these buggers popping up unexpectedly harm that enjoyment of property. They are loud! Sure, let's have them, but where they can go need to be of public record and before being installed not adversely affect property owners.

  5. Michael Black 2013.09.09

    Some people seem to be very aware and affected by low frequency sounds. The rest of us probably will suffer, but not know the extent.

    Always remember that there is no free lunch. Someone has to pay a price for everything we do.

  6. bret clanton 2013.09.09

    its just a matter of whose ox is being gored eh Mr. Black.....

  7. Anne Beal 2013.09.10

    To say that if you don't have a wind turbine next to your house you will have to have an oil well in your front yard is silly. This is not about energy, this is about zoning. Apparently being a mile from a wind turbine does not affect property values. Being a mile or more from a hog farm or egg factory doesn't affect property values, either, unless you are down-wind. We live about a mile and a half from a feedlot and it doesn't bother us. Most people have found being a mile or more away from anything isn't a problem, even if it's Walmart. This issue is about how close wind farms can be to residential neighborhoods. This is not about having to choose between a wind turbine or an oil well in your front yard, even though you imagine that to be the case.

  8. Jerry 2013.09.12

    My car kills birds and so does my cat and I not about to get rid of either one. The ride gets me back and forth and the cat also keeps the mice at bay. Fact is, I do live in the country sometimes and there is no peace and quiet there either. There are now helicopters and planes and all kinds of noises there. In the early days, we had wind chargers, I still have an old one from the ranch. My grandpa never did say if the thing killed birds or not, he was too busy just trying to make ends meet to consider the thought. It seems to me that although tragic, a few bird deaths are better than thousands of bird deaths like what we have seen in the oil spills, but that is just me. I guess we can count on some of the posters to be bringing out the posters to protest the pheasant hunters next month to tell them not to kill the birds. Should be fun to see that.

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