These Experts Say Wind Farms are Killing Farm Land for Sale
In many rural parts of the country, and even in some urban areas like Southern California, it’s not uncommon to see modest oil wells bobbing up and down on a plot of land or farm properties. That’s how the “Beverly Hillbillies” found their fortune after all. For decades, farmers across the country have supplemented their income with revenue from oil and gas companies, who drill for oil beneath their farmland.
Farm properties with oil wells aren’t likely to disappear anytime soon, not while the U.S. is sitting on such vast quantities of oil, yet it’s another power source that is popping up on farm properties for sale. From California to Florida farms for sale, massive wind turbines are going up all over the land.
And just like the farmers who struck oil in another era, many U.S. farmers and ranchers with land and farms are supplementing their income by leasing it to energy companies. Wind turbines take up little space, and can turn otherwise empty farm properties into valuable wind farms. Or that was the narrative, until recently.
Now, experts are divided on just how much wind turbines actually affect the value of land and ranches for sale. Many experts actually believe wind farms can lower the value of farm properties for sale.
The Times Record News in Wichita Falls, Texas, recently examined this exact question, profiling the local anti-wind farm group Clay County Against Wind Farms.
John Greer, the leader of the group, says that payments from energy companies aren’t high enough to risk the impact these farms could have on the owners should they decide to move away to greener pastures.
“What’s your land worth then? I guarantee you it’s not worth nearly as much,” Greer said. “Your land is dead at that point.”
That assessment might be an exaggeration, but many experts say not by very much. Unfortunately for those with farms and land they may want to sell one day, other experts completely disagree, and both sides have studies and statistics backing up their point of view. A 2014 study from the University of Rhode Island found that “no statistically significant impacts on house prices, in either the post-public announcement phase or the post-construction phase,” was found in properties within five miles of wind turbines.
For now, wind turbines may be too new of a technology for experts to know for certain either way.