A Free-Market Energy Blog

Wind Power’s Negative Externalities (Part I: introducing www.windturbinepropertyloss.org)

By Sherri Lange -- January 2, 2013

“A new website, www.windturbinepropertyloss.org, provides summary materials and emerging events around property loss and wind turbine sprawl, suggesting that a robbery is well under way, stretching well beyond 30 years, and knowing no geographical limits. Some of the focus is on individual lives shattered by loss of property values.”

Wind developers and anyone aiding and abetting the new textbook example of a NEGATIVE EXTERNALITY should pay damages in full for turbine “trickery.” The damage to homes and landscapes–all because of government largesse–is deep and long-lasting. The “green” bill of sale has been utterly false, with no concern about, but even visible contempt for, personal reports of financial losses and personal suffering. It is really not hyberbole to call this uncompensated racket one of the greatest, lengthiest robberies of all times in a free society.

Despite the trumped up reports by the wind proponents, and others whose financial interests are at stake, sizeable property losses are reported, not just following the installation of massive turbines but also at the whiff of a development. Property sales are aborted, entire communities commonly almost instantly devalued; businesses lost or downgraded, tourism values slashed, including associate industries that depend on tourism.

Inherent in these financial losses are the dashed dreams of people who have actively sought out peace, alternative living, farming and recreational havens, or even the peaceable enjoyment of their own personal property.

New Studies

There have been three major North American studies suggesting that devaluation of properties due to proximity to turbines is not real. (REPP, also known as the Sterzinger study, 2003, was one study, with subject properties too far from turbines to be relevant; secondly, the largest study in the USA in 2009 by Hoen, now widely disputed; and thirdly, the Canning study, an equally fickle presentation with numerous flaws in 2010. Wayne Gulden of Wind Farm Realities has provided an excellent overview and critique of these industry-favored reports and can be linked to here.)

These studies are in direct opposition to the realities of social and economic displacement, personal and financial loss that is internationally unprecedented. A new website, www.windturbinepropertyloss.org provides summary materials and emerging events around property loss and wind turbine sprawl, suggesting that a robbery is well under way, stretching well beyond 30 years, and knowing no geographical limits. Some of the focus is on individual lives shattered by loss of property values.

Roger Oliveira, formerly of Melancthon, Ontario, writes eloquently of his sense of loss of his dreams, as well as his finances. In an open letter questioning the wind developer, he asks,How much is my dream worth?” (Please see Featured Story for Roger’s letter, and the map of the surrounding turbines.)

The reality of living surrounded by nine massive machines impacting his health, his dreams dashed of country peace, a lifelong dream, Roger moved. Rather than continue the litany of health complaints, the depression from having lost “everything” financially, he had no choice but to gather the strength to pick up and move. For Roger and others like him, countless others around the world, there will be no damages awarded that will ever allow him to recover from that sense of complete and utter loss.

Fighting Industry Fiction

Still as the industry continues its fiction on zero property impacts, and in the wake of thousands of stories like Roger’s, Michael McCann of McCann Appraisal, LLC, Chicago, Illinois, finds that the hard data is irrefutable. McCann refers to some unsalable properties as “ground zero.” As several others have noted, zero sales are not included in reports of values and devaluations, and because so many of the turbine affected properties are unsalable, or on the market for well beyond norms of three to six months, any reports not reflecting this reality are also not valid. Gordon Callon writes in a comment to a blog:

There is one thing I find curious about many property studies, especially those favourable to wind power. They often rely for analysis only on houses actually sold. Considering that many homes most seriously affected by nearby turbines are never sold and cannot be sold regardless of price, it appears that the total market value of these is lost. This must be considered. Perhaps their value should be averaged into the statistics as zero. The other, similar, factor often ignored is time to sale. It is one thing to sell a home in days or weeks. It is another to have a home on the market for many months or even years.

McCann further notes that noise and sleep disturbances are “commonplace,” that homeowners are almost instantly deprived of “reasonable liquidity” and market value; McCann measures losses of 25% to 40% with mention of those properties that are indeed, not able to be sold at any price. He also references that

Serious impact to the “use & enjoyment” of many homes is an on-going occurrence, and many people are on record as confirming they have rented other dwellings, either individual families or as a homeowner group-funded mitigation response for use on nights when noise levels are increased well above ambient background noise and render their existing homes untenable.

At the conclusion of his discussion of property devaluations at Brewster MA, two 400 foot turbines, he includes a list of the medical and disturbance effects that is like a catalogue of an almost unimaginable Gulag of suffering.

[Part II tomorrow: Wind Power’s Negative Externalities: Here Come the Lawsuits]


  1. Wind Power’s Negative Externalities — Part 1 from MasterResource | Quixotes Last Stand  

    […] Studies  (To continue reading, click here) Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tags: […]


  2. Tom Tanton  

    Nicely said, Sherry. Folks generally need to understand that the reduction of property values is but one of multiple negative externalities. This new website goes a long way in quatifying the affect on property values.


  3. Sherri Lange  

    Thanks, Tom. We feel this site is long overdue. For years, communities under seige have been told they only care about their property values…..Nope, that is ONE thing they care about. But it’s important, nonetheless. Imagine entire swaths of communities devalued, commonplace degradation of landscape formerly wild and refuge, that is the universal property value, too. Thanks again for commenting.


  4. Henry  

    Its a pity to hear that something good is causing pains to people. The solution for this lies in the hand of the government. People should push the leaders to pass laws that prohibits turbines installation close to homes.


  5. Linda Fielding  

    As I sit here in the North Bruce Peninsula debating whether I should list my home this Spring prior to the approval/commencement of approximately 275 wind turbines, your article indeed hits “home”. I simply can’t imagine living here if these wind farms proceed, nor can I afford to lose the investment in my home. But who will buy with this black cloud looming over us?


  6. Donna Davidge  

    Sherri: we know so many of the negatives for nature, humans and wildlife that are not being addressed honestly by politicians and media.
    I have shared this on my FB page and thank you for your relentless pursuit of the truth.


  7. Tori Cunningham  

    Well done Sherri! The site is terrific and packed with information that everybody should be reading and passing on to their Municipal, Provincial and Federal elected officials. We face redicule concerning the devaluation of properties and IWT’s. I would wager that if the critics lived in close proximity to an IWT, it would be a different story! Our representatives appear to be oblivious to the needs, expectations and wishes of their consituents and sadly seem to have lost sight of the fact that they work for us! You and NAPAW staff are getting the word out and its long overdue! People are slowly waking up and hopefully some day soon, the actual facts will awaken a “sleeping giant!” There is strength in solidarity. As far as our government reps are concerned , it is time that they comprehend the following: We are not their subjects! We are not their servants! We are not their peasants! We are the people that they have been elected to SERVE! We are protected by the Canadian Constitution – Rights and Freedoms Act “which confers specific rights and freedoms on all Canadians, including that of due process, which rights and freedoms are to be protected by all levels of government, including municipal government, Ministers, Ministries, Agencies and Municipalities who have an ethical duty and legal obligation to protect the health, safety, and quality of life and well being of all citizens and their properties.” Thank you for the wonderful work you do and also to Mark D and everybody working for NAPAW. TORI


  8. Sherri Lange  

    Tori, thank you so much for all your hard work to preserve an international treasure at Campobello Island, former summer home to President Teddy Roosevelt. This treasured National Park is a symbol of the cooperation between the USA and Canada. We must win this one, too!

    Roger, you ask about Ben Lansink’s study and who commissioned it (them). Lansink is one of those remarkable people who studies events for professional development, and of course as part of his ongoing professional commitment under the Appraisal Institute of Canada’s requirements. Melancthon was certainly one of those done for this reason. Quote below:

    “I decided to do a study for the same reason I did the other studies, and that is to get experience credits as part of my education program,” he said. “Nobody paid me and nobody put me up to it.”

    Lansink said his attention was brought to the Shelburne area, where the 133-turbine Melancthon Wind Facility went into operation in 2006, owned by TransAlta Corporation.

    “I had heard there had been problems in Melancthon, so I did a registry search of the entire township and what I found were these five sales and re-sales by the wind turbine company,” Lansink said.

    Lansink found that between 2005 and 2007, Canadian Hydro Developers Inc., a subsidiary of TransAlta Corporation, purchased five properties and then re-sold these properties between 2009 and 2012. Lansink stressed that none of the properties in the study had any turbines erected on it. Looking at the resale of the properties, Lansink found the average price diminution of the five properties amounted to 38.8 per cent the market value, with the largest loss of 58.5 per cent.”

    Again, the numbers are shocking, and the personal stories behind the numbers even sadder. Roger, you raise a great question about the quarry fighters, because really it is the same undermining of democracy, and the same assault on Nature. The principles are the same. Can you imagine, fighting both a MEGA quarry and a turbine factory at the same time (eight thousand acres of prime agricultural land) in the one instance? That’s exactly what is happening in Ontario.

    Thanks all for your comments!


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