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Wind Turbines Have Little Impact on Property Values, Study Finds

Flickr Creative Commons / lamoix

A new UConn report looked at more than 120,000 Massachusetts home sales and found wind turbines have little impact on prices. Carol Atkinson-Palombo is co-author of the paper, which tracked the data spanning a 14-year period.

Opponents highlight "nuisance stigmas," like turbine noise and shadow flicker.

Wind power has become a bone of contention in Connecticut. In November, lawmakers blocked a proposal outlining siting procedures for building new turbines, a move that effectively placed a moratorium on wind power in the state. Opponents have highlighted the so-called "nuisance stigmas" attached to wind power, things like turbine noise and shadow flicker.

Atkinson-Palombo said to not conflate her findings in Massachusetts with the debate playing out in Connecticut. "We didn't find any impact in Massachusetts," she said, "so you can't extrapolate that and say to the Connecticut policy makers, 'Oh, we guarantee that there's not going to be any impact in Connecticut.'" 

The study also found that when new wind turbine projects are announced, there is a jostle that ripples through the local housing market. But Atkinson-Palombo said she found that effect to be brief. "Once the turbines are constructed, we see a rebound," she said. "Overall, there's no difference in house prices from before the turbines were constructed until after."

Property values of houses analyzed in the study ranged anywhere from $40,000 to $2.5 million.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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