Study: Wind farms have no significant impact on residential property values in Kansas

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW)- A study by WSU’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR) found that in the first three years of a wind project, there was so significant impact on county-level appraised residential property values.

Just ahead of the vote for an approval for a wind farm in Reno County, Hutchinson and Reno County Chamber of Commerce asked for WSU’s help in conducting research to see whether or not wind projects directly impact the property value of county residential homes.

Many residents have voiced their concerns about the possibility of a wind farm in Reno County. Many of those concerns included the impact to residential property values, noise concerns, aesthetic issues and more.

With more than 80 turbines, the proposed wind farm would be located in southeast Reno County, near Haven, east of Cheney Lake.

For about two weeks, the staff at the center took a look at county-level appraised residential property values in Kansas from 2002 to 2018.

The data also included the completion dates of 23 wind projects across Kansas from 2005 to 2015.

“If you’re concerned about this impact on overall residential property value, that should not be a concern,” said Jeremy Hill, director of CEDBR.

Below is a graph from the study that illustrated the growth pattern of rural residential property values in both wind power and non-wind power project counties.

Source: KS Dept. of Revenue Data and CEDBR Analysis

While in the graph you can see a slight increase in property value over time for counties with wind projects, experts said there’s not a significant correlation.

“We found that property values just in general were actually increasing at 0.3 percent faster in those counties that had wind farms than those that didn’t,” said Hill.

In a separate project, researchers found that wind projects have a positive return on the community, fiscally.

They said the public benefit outweighs the cost and provide more jobs, investment opportunities.

“We can’t measure everything and there are reasons why people are concerned,” said Hill. “We’ve eliminated one of those concerns.”

Hill recognizes that this research did not include more than 3 year predictions, as well as other top concerns for residents.

“If you’re concerned about maybe environmental or the aesthetic values or the noise values or the quality of life, then that’s a different question,” said Hill. “That was not something we were trying to measure within this project.”

Those involved in the research said it is possible that over a longer period of time than the study looked at, residents could see more change in property values in counties with wind farms.

Reno County commissioners are expected to vote on whether or not to approve a wind farm on Thursday (June 13) night at 6:30 p.m.

The planning commission has asked county commissioners to deny the proposal.

To read the full summary of the study done by the WSU Center for Economic Development and Business Research, click here.

Stay with KSN for updates on this story.

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