Residential solar

According to a recent study conducted by U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), home buyers have been willing to pay more for homes that have solar PV systems owned by the homeowner. Nonetheless, the study found no evidence that shows that home buyers are willing to pay more or less for homes with third-party owned solar PV systems.

A previous study, also by LBNL, found that there is only a small and statistically non-significant difference between PV premiums for new and existing homes.

Utility scale solar

It is important to note that New York State does not currently have what are generally considered as ‘utility scale’ solar projects nor does it have utility ownership of solar. Since there is limited research on the impact of utility scale solar projects on property values, one option is to look at the impact of large-scale wind projects on property values. The existing research examining the property values of residential homes located near or with views of wind turbines provides little or no evidence that home values are affected (positively or negatively) before or after the construction of facilities.

  • This website houses many of the studies on wind projects and property valueshttp://www.realtor.org/field-guides/field-guide-to-wind-farms-their-effect-on-property-values
  • A study conducted by Hoen et al in 2013, analyzed data from more than 50,000 home sales across 27 (mostly rural) counties in nine states including seven counties in New York that were within 10 miles of wind facilities. The study found no statistically significant evidence that home prices near wind turbines were affected in post-announcement, pre-construction or post-construction periods. The study concluded that if effects do exist, the average impacts are relatively small and/or sporadic impacting only a very small subset of homes. 
    • Hoen, B., Wiser, R., & Cappers, P. (2013). A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States. Berkeley: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Retrieved from https://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-6362e.pdf
  • A similar 2014 study examined 122,000 homes sales near 41 turbines located in more densely populated areas in Massachusetts within 5 miles of the wind facilities. The study concluded that there were no net effects on property values due to wind turbines and only weak evidence that the announcement of a wind facility had a modest adverse impact on home prices that were no longer apparent after turbine construction and operation commenced (Hoen & Atkinson-Palombo, 2014).
    • Hoen, B., & Atkinson-Palombo, C. (2014). Relationship between Wind Trubines and Residential Property Values in Massachusetts. Berkeley: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; University of Connecticut. Retrieved from https://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-6371e_0.pdf

It is also important to note that solar farms do not have the same impacts as wind farms (i.e., PV facilities do not cast a shadow on neighboring properties, cause light flicker, or have the same visual impact as wind farms). Communities can opt for mitigation measures to reduce visual impacts of solar farms through the use of setbacks, vegetative screening or fencing.

Finally, there are some misconceptions related to the impacts of solar projects. Often people are concerned about glare, noise, or electro-magnetic fields and research and experience has shown that these are not issues associated with solar PV development. This resource summarizes a few reasons why these concerns are misleading: https://www.nrel.gov/tech_deployment/state_local_governments/blog/top-five-large-scale-solar-myths