Local survey finds Capital Wind Farm good for business
9 May 2012
The majority of nearby residents surveyed believed the Capital Wind Farm was either “good” or “very good” for local businesses, with only 1 percent indicating they thought it had a negative effect on business.
Of the nearby residents surveyed 46 percent personally knew someone, or some business, that had directly benefitted from the wind farm. 64 percent of the local business operators surveyed thought local businesses had benefitted from the wind farm.
The vast majority of respondents believe that wind farms benefit the environment, with 68 percent indicating that they would support future wind farm developments in the area with only 15 percent opposed.
No effect on property values
The survey also sought local real estate agents’ perceptions on the wind farm’s effect on property values. In their opinion, overall property sales and values in the area had not been affected.
“We sold one in between two windmills and it didn’t impact the sale at all. That was about 18 months ago,” says one of the real estate agents.
Another real estate agent commented, “We are still selling properties with views of the wind farm; there’s no effect on prices.”
Locals stay in the area
A total of 234 respondents including 89 business operators from Bungendore and Tarago in New South Wales participated in the survey. Of the respondents 28 percent have lived in the area for 20 years or more while 39 percent have lived in the area for 6-19 years. Debunking the myth that wind farms make people leave their homes 33 percent have moved into the area in the last five years.
“A third of the respondents moved to the area since the wind farms began construction and we know of four new houses located between 800 and 2,800 metres from the wind farm that were built after commissioning,” said Miles George, the Managing Director of Infigen Energy.
“The strong continued support for new projects in the communities near Infigen’s wind farms indicates that vast majority of people live harmoniously with wind farms,” he added.
Infigen Energy began working in the area in 2004 and more than $10 million has been invested directly in the area since the construction. On an ongoing basis more than $3 million goes into the local community each year through sourcing supplies from local businesses, payments to land owners and local employee wages. During construction activity this figure increases to $6 million.
Infigen Energy commissioned an independent research firm to conduct this local community perception survey. The summary of the study is available to view here.
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