As I wrote about recently, Illinois is rolling out some generous incentives to encourage Solar Energy development. In particular, Illinois has set aside incentives for what is called “Community Solar.” Those projects are about 10 to 20 acres and for technical reasons (to get their power on to the grid) have a decent chance of being located near existing residential properties.
As the zoning for these types of projects moves forward we can expect to begin to hear from the NIMBY or Not In My Back Yard contingent. I can understand their fear, as a recent article out of Indianapolis points out, residents that have grown accustomed to vistas of swaying grasses are concerned about having to look at solar panels instead.
But, does living near a solar farm actually hurt your property values? Since community solar is still relatively new, it is probably too soon to tell. However, we are able to look at how wind farms (which experienced a boom in the last decade) have impacted local residential property values and draw comparisons. As it turns out there are domestic and international studies on the topic that show no impact to residential property values as a result of being located near new wind farms. I somehow doubt that the data will stop the NIMBY folks from showing up however.