Court dismisses Claim for Property Value Loss from Proposed Wind Project

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) welcomes the April 22, 2013 judgment of Madam Justice S.E. Healey of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. In the decision the Court dismissed a lawsuit by landowners seeking damages because, the landowners claimed, a proposed Ontario wind development reduced their property values.

At the request of the defendant project developer, the Court took the evidence filed by the plaintiffs as proven. The Court did this “in order to place the plaintiffs’ cases at their most favourable for the purpose of these motions.” The Court held that, even assuming the facts alleged as proven, the case should not proceed to trial and granted summary judgment to the project developer. The decision by Madam Justice Healey states: “The reason that each of the claims is being dismissed is that our law does not award damages without proof of an actionable wrong giving rise to liability.”

“The fact is the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is not currently altering property assessments in Ontario as a result of wind energy projects,” said Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. “As a responsible industry, we continue to communicate with the Ontario Real Estate Association and MPAC to ensure we are reviewing all new and credible information on the important subject of property values. Wind energy projects are delivering significant benefits to local economies – creating new jobs and injecting millions of dollars in new revenues for landowners and municipalities.”

In a 2011 recent Assessment Review Board hearing in Ontario focused on wind turbines and property values, MPAC argued that there was no evidence to show that construction and operation of wind turbines had reduced the current value of the landowner’s property.

Ontario Study:
A 2010 report by Canning Consultants Inc. that studied 83 properties in the Chatham-Kent region found that: “In the study area where wind farms were clearly visible, there was no empirical evidence to indicate that rural residential properties realized lower sale prices than similar residential properties within the same area that were outside of the view shed of a wind turbine.”

US Study:
A comprehensive analysis by the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that proximity to wind energy facilities does not have a pervasive or widespread adverse effect on the value of nearby homes. Researchers examined 7,500 single-family property sales between 1996 and 2007, covering a time span from before the wind farms were announced to well after construction and operation.

For more information on wind energy and property values, visit: www.windfacts.ca

CanWEA is the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy on behalf of its more than 420 members. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada’s leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. To join other global leaders in the wind energy industry, CanWEA believes Canada can and must reach its target of producing 20 per cent or more of the country’s electricity from wind by 2025. The document Wind Vision 2025 – Powering Canada’s Future is available at www.canwea.ca.

Source: CanWEA

For more information on: CanWEA