CWESt’s report adds noise to wind debate

Posted on September 25, 2009. Filed under: Wind |

From a commentary by Peter Maldonado, RENEW Wisconsin:

A document released by the wind opposition group Coalition for Wisconsin’s Environmental Stewardship (CWESt) claims to find a cause-effect link between wind turbines and reduced property values, but the self-described study fails to provide significant statistical data supporting its contention. The document, titled “Wind Turbine Impact Study,” also contains a “literature review” that turns out to be nothing more than a Google search trawling through opposition web sites for subject matter.

Given CWESt’s opposition to expanding wind generating facilities in Wisconsin, one can understand the organization’s decision to release a preliminary draft of this paper only a few days before the Legislature’s vote on Senate Bill 185, a bill directing the Public Service Commission to develop uniform permitting standards for wind energy systems. As stated in the cover page, the author, Appraisal Group One (AGO), specializes in “forensic appraisal, eminent domain, stigmatized properties and valuation research.” Our aim here is not to criticize the stated purpose of the report, merely to assess the validity of its methods and results. As the old adage goes, “garbage in, garbage out.”


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