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Solar Farms Degrade Property Values only Slightly


A posting on Inside Climate News reported on a study involving 1.8 million homes in six states to determine the impact of an adjacent solar farm on property values.  Research was conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and included homes in Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Connecticut and Massachusetts.


 The price differential between houses within one-half mile and two to four miles from a utility-scale solar plant averaged 1.5 percent disfavoring those close to an array.  In the case of California and Connecticut, house values were higher by 0.9 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.  The highest devaluation figures were in North Carolina and New Jersey with 5.8 percent and a 5.6 percent reduction in value.


The study was conducted to determine the effect of large solar arrays that have generated resistance in local communities. The major objection has been based on a reduction in property values. In addition spurious claims of health effects have appeared on social media posts adding to opposition to solar arrays. 


The 1.5 percent decline in property values as determined by the Department of Energy Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory refutes the claims of up to a 40 percent reduction as advanced at recent meetings of some local zoning boards.