Jeffrey’s Bay - wind farm underway

Article By Annali Smith
Online Editor

The Jeffrey’s Bay Wind Farm is already under construction, with the first of 60 turbines already being built.

Wind Farms are not a new concept in South Africa, the country already has three operational farms - Coega, Klipheuwel and Darling.

(Image via News24)

According to Mark Pickering, General Manager of the Jeffrey’s Bay Wind Farm the farm would be able to supply enough clean, renewable electricity to power more than 110 000 South African homes each year.

While clean, renewable energy is vital to saving key resources and counteracting global warming, there are many instances of communities fighting against wind farms purely because they think wind farms would decrease the value of their properties.

Are their arguments valid?

A new Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study has revealed that homeowners have nothing to fear in regards to property values decreasing due to a nearby wind farm. The study used data from 2012, collected from 27 counties in nine states, across 50 000 home sales and found zero evidence of the average home price being affected by a nearby wind farm.

This study used more data than previous ones, using homes within 10 miles of the 67 turbine facilities and examining 1,198 sales within a mile of them. Noting that wind production capacity is expected to grow by some 2,750 turbines a year, likely in New York, New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest.

They further asked whether turbines might create similar problems for home values as living near a new power line or landfill as demonstrated in the past. Once again they found no evidence that home prices were affected in post - nor pre-production phases of the the turbines.

Even though this study was conducted in the United States where wind farms are far more prevalent than in South Africa, it will likely show the same results. Living near a wind farm could actually be beneficial  - for example, the increased economic input in the area could help the demand for properties.

Fears of home values decreasing seems to be rooted in the belief that the wind farms would be an eyesore, which will eventually decrease demand and average home price.

(via Inman News)

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