Berkeley Lab studied property values and proximity to solar projects and found varied results

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has released a new analysis, “shedding light on the impact of the sun at scale: an analysis of property values ​​and proximity to solar power in six US states.” energy policyThis report examined the footprint of residential deals and large-scale solar projects in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and North Carolina (together, these regions account for the largest number of large-scale solar projects installed in the United States). more than 50% of the megawatt capacity of electricity generation). The group analyzed over 1,500 solar projects and over 1.8 million home sale transactions and found mixed results across all states.

For homes within 0.5 mile and homes 2-4 miles away from a large solar project, Berkeley Lab reported 10% reduction in Minnesota (4% reduction), North Carolina (5.8%), and New Jersey (5.6%). found a decline in home sales prices. ), the other he had no statistically significant effect in three states (California, Connecticut, Massachusetts). Using data from all six states, the Berkeley Lab found that homes within half a mile of a large solar array had a 1.5% lower home sales price compared to homes two to four miles away. confirmed. If the average sample selling price is approximately $400,000, a 1.5% decrease equates to approximately $6,000.

We found that certain cohorts of large solar projects had higher or lower selling price effects within 0.5 miles than the average for the entire sample, or no statistically significant effects within that distance. . These heterogeneous influences and their implications are summarized in Figure 1 and briefly described below.

Figure 1. The basic six-state model and the results of each heterogeneity analysis. Shows the average house price effect for a cohort of homes 0-0.5 miles away from the nearest built large-scale photovoltaic project (LSPVP) compared to locations 2-4 miles away. over there. Price fluctuations represent 95% confidence intervals.

Only large-scale solar projects developed on former farmland near homes in rural areas and only the largest utility-scale projects were found to be associated with negative impacts on home sales prices within half a mile Did.

The Berkeley Lab considered previous land use, local population density of the homes sold, and the size of the solar project, and found that the negative impact on home sales prices was statistically significant only for projects on previous farmland. was found to be significant for Close to homes in rural areas (low population density) and close to the largest solar PV project in the data set (about 12 acres, equivalent to 4-7 MW).

The Berkeley Lab found no evidence of a statistically significant effect on home sales prices near large-scale solar projects developed in greenfield, brownfield, and mixed land-use developments. Furthermore, housing in urban (highly populated) or urban cluster (mediumly populated) areas was not significantly affected. Finally, Berkeley Lab determined that there would be no impact on selling prices for homes near large solar projects less than 12 acres in size.

A more complete understanding of the economic impacts of large-scale solar projects, and the causes of impacts detected in this study, will require different research methods, locations and scales.

The study uses a unique dataset of solar project footprints and extends the analysis to areas not previously explored to show how large-scale solar projects impact home sales prices. Contributes to increasing evidence of impact. While this analysis provides reasonably accurate measures of correlations that are likely to have little bias, identifying the sources of these effects is beyond the scope of this work, Berkeley Lab said. says. The analysis did not include site characteristics or site design considerations. For example, setbacks and landscaping features that may play a role in the valuation of nearby properties. In addition, this study did not examine the attitudes and sentiments of neighboring communities, or of home sellers and buyers, toward solar projects that may affect property valuations near solar projects. Finally, this study did not explore the broader economic impacts or benefits to host communities of large-scale solar projects that could have a positive impact on home sales prices.

The Berkeley Lab says the heterogeneity of results also demonstrates the importance of location and project-specific assessment of solar project development and policy practice. This heterogeneity may indicate the importance of studying new placement strategies for rural, large-scale, or agricultural facilities. For example, colocation of agricultural land use and solar development.

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