Wind Power Project Planning Process Fairness and Attitudes

Wind Power Project Planning Process Fairness and Attitudes

February 14, 2018

Second in a four-part series on results from a Berkley Lab-led effort to characterize and help explain attitudes toward local wind power projects in the US.  Data were collected randomly from 1,705 homeowners living within five miles of 250 U.S. wind power projects across 24 states with a focus on individuals within close proximity of the turbines (e.g., < 1 mile) who often evade data collection because they are so few in number. These data represent the first nationwide survey of wind power project neighbors in the United States and the largest such survey conducted in the world to-date.

This webinar will focus on an investigation of various predictors of stated planning process fairness, and relative influences of planning process fairness on attitudes.

We find that a developer being open and transparent, a community being able to influence the project outcome, and individuals having a say in the planning process are all statistically significant predictors of a process being perceived as “fair,” with an open and transparent developer having the largest effect. We also find developer transparency and ability to influence the outcome (e.g., number and location of wind turbines) to have statistically significant relationships to a more positive attitude, with those findings holding when aesthetics, landscape, and wind turbine sound considerations are controlled for. The results indicate that jurisdictions might consider developing procedures that ensure citizens are consulted and heard, while instituting benchmarks or best practices for developer interaction with communities and citizens.