Powerful, controversial, and fast growing, wind power is making inroads in the United States. U.S. wind power totaled nearly 182 million megawatthours (MWh) during 2014, equal to 4.4% of U.S. electricity generation and more than three times the wind power generated in the United States in 2008. However, with growth comes opposition. Homeowners are worried about decreasing property values and the visual blight of turbines.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.


Basics of Wind Energy (American Wind Energy Association) — "When the wind blows past a wind turbine, its blades capture the wind’s kinetic energy and rotate, turning it into mechanical energy. This rotation turns an internal shaft connected to a gearbox, which increases the speed of rotation by a factor of 100. That spins a generator that produces electricity. Typically standing at least 80 meters (262 feet) tall, tubular steel towers support a hub with three attached blades and a “nacelle,” which houses the shaft, gearbox, generator, and controls. Wind measurements are collected, which direct the turbine to rotate and face the strongest wind, and the angle or "pitch" of its blades is optimized to capture energy."

How a Wind Turbine Works (United States Department of Energy) — "Wind turbines operate on a simple principle. The energy in the wind turns two or three propeller-like blades around a rotor. The rotor is connected to the main shaft, which spins a generator to create electricity."

Wind Turbines (Explain That Stuff!, Sep. 29, 2020) — "If you've ever stood beneath a large wind turbine, you'll know that they are absolutely gigantic and mounted on incredibly high towers. The longer the rotor blades, the more energy they can capture from the wind. The giant blades (typically 70m or 230 feet in diameter, which is about 30 times the wingspan of an eagle) multiply the wind's force like a wheel and axle, so a gentle breeze is often enough to make the blades turn around. Even so, typical wind turbines stand idle about 14 percent of the time, and most of the time they don't generate maximum power. This is not a drawback, however, but a deliberate feature of their design that allows them to work very efficiently in ever-changing winds."

Impact on Real Estate Values

If Wind Farms Impact Property Values It Appears to be Positively (Medium, Nov. 12,2019) — This study found that the evidence for property value impacts is weak and that “lack of harm” data is robust. The study indicates that even as property values continue to be reassessed, there is no between nearby wind farm and sales prices or the rate of sales.

Property Taxation of Commerical Wind Farms and Facilities (Journal of Property Tax Assessment & Administration, 2019) E — Although recent large-scale research has not found a significant property value impact on homes near wind facilities, those impacts may exist in some cases, and the perception of value impacts among local residents could exist, but it is not well understood (Rand and Hoen 2017). (There may be a “self-sorting effect” [Guttery and Reichert 2017] when those concerned about turbines either move away or do not select the property.)

Property Value Impacts of Wind Turbines and the Influence of Attitudes Toward Wind Energy (Land Economics, Nov. 1, 2018) E — "The results of this study provide strong evidence that wind turbines in Ontario have negatively impacted surrounding property values."

The Amenity Costs of Offshore Windfarms: Evidence from a Choice Experiment (NC State University, Aug. 2017) — Results indicate that there is not a scenario for which respondents would be willing to pay more to rent a home with turbines in view,as compared to the baseline view with no turbines in sight. Further, there is a substantial portion of the survey population that would change their vacation destination if wind farms were placed within visual range of the beach. The rental discounts required to attract the segment of the survey population most amenable to viewing wind farms still indicate that rental value losses of up to ten per cent are possible if a utility-scale wind farm is placed within 8 miles of shore.

The Impact of Wind Farm Visibility on Property Values: A Spatial Difference-in-Differences Analysis (Energy Economics, Mar. 2016) E — The estimates indicate that the asking price for properties whose view was strongly affected by the construction of wind turbines decreased by about 9–14%. In contrast, properties with a minor or marginal view on the wind turbines experienced no devaluation.

Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of US Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values (Journal of Real Estate Finance & Economics, Jul. 1, 2015) E — Across all model specifications, we find no statistical evidence that home prices near wind turbines were affected in either the post-construction or post-announcement/pre-construction periods.

Values in the Wind: A Hedonic Analysis of Wind Power Facilities (Land Economics, Aug. 2012) — 2011 draft available here. This paper uses data on 11,331 property transactions over nine years in northern New York State to explore the effects of new wind facilities on property values. They find that nearby wind facilities significantly reduce property values in two of the three counties studied. These results indicate that existing compensation to local homeowners/communities may not be sufficient to prevent a loss of property values.

Wind Turbines & Property Values (Appraisal Group One, 2010) — Impact studies suggest the values are substantially negatively impacted in the range of -12% to -40%. P. 17.

The Impact of Wind Power Projects on Residential Property Values in the United States: A Multi-Site Hedonic Analysis (U.S. Department of Energy, Dec. 2009) — A three-year study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory concludes “neither the view of wind energy facilities nor the distance of the home to those facilities was found to have any consistent, measurable, and significant effect on the selling prices of nearby homes. No matter how we looked at the data, the same result kept coming back—no evidence of widespread impacts.” The link is to the press release on the study. A PDF version of the study is available at the bottom of the press release along with a PowerPoint of highlights and contact information. Critics of the study appeared almost immediately, including the Acoustic Ecology Institute, appraisers (here and here), as well as from established opposition groups. Study author Ben Hoen presented the following slides at the New England Wind Energy Education Project webinar, 2010: Impacts on residential property values new wind turbines: An overview of research findings and where to go from here [PowerPoint in PDF]. This presentation shows updated research and conclusions from the Berkeley study that suggest that effects on property values can exist and need to be addressed.

Wind Maps

Wind Energy Technologies Office Projects Map (US Department of Energy, 2021) — This map shows wind energy projects that the Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office has in it’s portfolio.

Installed Wind Capacity (U.S. Department of Energy/Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, 2018) — This map shows the maximum potential output from wind power given the number of installations in a state.

The U.S. Wind Turbine Database (U.S. Geological Survey, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory & the American Wind Energy Association) — The United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) provides the locations of land-based and offshore wind turbines in the United States, corresponding wind project information, and turbine technical specifications. The creation of this database was jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) via the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) Electricity Markets and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

DSIRE: Database of State Incentives for Renewable's and Efficiency (NC State University) — DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Wind Maps (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) — This collection of wind maps and assessments details the wind resource in the United States.


Wind Turbines Haven't Been Universally Welcomed by Everyone in Iowa (The Gazette, Feb. 23, 2019) — Despite being approved for construction that year by the county, a legal fight — one that saw the city of Fairbank and a group of area residents file separate lawsuits against the development — broke out over whether the county’s more than 40-year-old zoning ordinance allowed for wind turbine development. In mid-2018, the turbines were ordered to be torn down by a district judge. They were dismantled late last year.

New Rebellion Against Wind Energy Stalls or Stops Projects (Seattle Times, Feb. 21, 2018) — For many critics, their opposition starts with a simple disdain for the metal towers that support blades half the length of a football field. They want the views from their kitchen window or deck to be of farmland or hills, not giant wind-harnessing machinery.Others cite grievances that have long circulated on the internet from people living near the towers. They claim the turbines make them dizzy, irritable and unable to sleep. The whooshing noise and vibration from the blades, they say, force them to close windows and blinds and use white noise to mask the mechanical sounds.Still other homeowners fear for their property values, as fewer people will want to buy a home overlooking a wind farm.

Wind Farms Whipping Up Opposition Across Rural Indiana (windAction, Jun. 9, 2016) — But as industrial wind energy tries to blow into other parts of the state, it’s running into resistance from communities that fear those turbines will overrun the landscape. Private developers are in an aggressive push to double the number of Indiana’s wind farms. But they must contend with neighbors, lawsuits and the fickle support of elected officials who once welcomed them and are now changing their minds. Fears of noise, adverse health effects and worries that home values will plummet as the giant turbines go up are driving the concerns of opponents.

The Amenity Costs of Offshore Wind Farms: Evidence From a Choice Experiment (Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy, North Carolina State University, Mar. 2016) — Our choice experiment with customers renting coastal vacation properties unambiguously indicates that viewing a utility-scale offshore wind farm from a beach rental property is a is amenity for these individuals. There was no wind farm scenario, for any group of respondents, in which visitors to the coast indicated that they would be willing to pay more to rent a property with turbines in view, as compared to one with no turbines in sight. Even more striking is that over 50 percent of those surveyed indicated they would not return to the same beach for their next rental should a utility-scale wind farm be placed offshore. This is true despite wide-spread support for wind energy development among these same respondents.  (P. 29-30)

More and more wind turbine opponents are collecting resources online. Below are a sample:

Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions — "The purpose of this site is to sort through many thousands of articles, studies and reports on energy matters, select a representative cross-section of informative material, and then organize it in an understandable manner."  Offshore wind is one of the many topics covered on this website.

Industrial Wind Action Group  — Industrial Wind Action is "dedicated to providing information on industrial wind energy to enable communities and government officials to make informed decisions."

National Wind Watch — National Wind Watch™ is a nonprofit organization that promotes awareness of the negative impacts of industrial wind energy development on our environment, economy, and quality of life.

Wind Turbine Syndrome — Nina Pierpont’s research on the physical impact of wind turbines on nearby residents. While some dispute her claims and small sample size, further study is warranted.

Wind Energy Websites

American Wind Energy Association  — AWEA is a national trade association representing companies and individuals involved in the wind power industry. It promotes wind energy as a clean source of electricity for consumers around the world. The organization website does a good job addressing opposition to wind farms.

National Wind Coordinating Collaborative (RESOLV)  — The NWCC brings together government, industry and environmental organizations to try to reach consensus on sustainability developing wind power in the U.S. Subcommittees address environmental, economic, and technical concerns.

National Wind Technology Center — The National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) at NREL is the nation's premier wind energy technology research facility. The NWTC advances the development of innovative land-based and offshore wind energy technologies through its research and testing facilities.

National Wind Institute  — Texas Tech University’s National Wind Institute (NWI) is based on a strong foundation of more than 40 years of research and education on the impact of wind on structures and human life.

North American Windpower  — A magazine serving decision-making professionals involved in the North American wind energy generation and distribution business.

Wind Energy Technologies Office: WINDExchange (US Department of Energy) — The WINDExchange is a resource provided by the US Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office. It helps “communities weigh the benefits and impacts of wind energy.” You can search by state, utility scale wind (land-based or offshore), or by distributed wind (community or residential). They have resource maps, project development information, and technical models, tools, and guidebooks.

Windustry — Non-profit organization dedicated to increase wind energy opportunities for rural landowners and communities. Rich collection of resources including industry links, news, state regulations, lease guidelines, and more.

Windpower Monthly — Windpower Monthly is the leading news magazine of the international wind energy business, publishing non-stop since 1985.

Yes2Wind  — (Greenpeace / World Wildlife Fund / Friends of the Earth). UK site sponsored by major environmental organizations to promote wind power in Britain. Includes a wind power FAQ, a myth-buster section, and a wind farm locator (UK only).

eBooks & Other Resources

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Greening the Wind (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)

The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)

Wind Power for Dummies (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)

Wind Power Basics (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)

Wind Power, Revised Edition: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business (Chicago: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2004) TJ 825 G44

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.