Episode 175: What do people think about the prospect of a wind farm in their community?

Wind Farm in Iowa

Julian Lamy, a recent PhD graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Engineering and Public Policy Department, discusses what people think of the prospect of having a wind farm in their community.

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Learn More

Among Many Successes, Some Community Wind Projects Experience New Challenges by the Department of Energy

Advantages and Challenges of Wind Energy by the Department of Energy

Frequently Asked Questions About Windy Energy by the Department of Energy

Transcript

HOST: What do people think about the prospect of a wind farm in their community? On this week’s Energy Bite, Julian Lamy, a recent PhD graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, has some answers.

JULIAN: We interviewed and surveyed residents in coastal Massachusetts communities and found that the biggest factors people care about are economic benefits from the project and visual changes to the landscape.

HOST: So, why are these factors a concern?

JULIAN: Typical power plants, like coal or gas plants, can be tucked away in hidden locations that are not visible. However, wind turbines are typically over 400 feet tall, making a distinguishable mark on the landscape. Therefore, study participants wanted to know how the project would look, and whether they could see it from their home. Many participants also wanted to know the economic benefits both to them individually and to the town, like reduced energy bills and increased tax revenue to the local government. It’s important to point out that visual and economic benefits aren’t standardized by project nor are they regulated. So, it’s critical for communities to work with project developers to learn them.

HOST: Would you want a wind farm built in your community? Take our poll, see the results, and ask your energy questions at Energy Bite dot org.

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