Document Type


Date of Original Version



Environmental and Natural Resource Economics


While utility-scale solar energy is important for reducing dependence on fossil fuels, solar arrays use significant amounts of land (about 5 acres per MW of capacity) and may create local land use disamenities. This paper seeks to quantify the externalities from nearby solar arrays using the hedonic method. We study the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, which have high population densities and ambitious renewable energy goals. Using difference-in-differences, repeat sales identification strategies, results suggest that houses within 0.6 miles depreciate 1.5–3.6% following construction of a solar array. However, additional analysis reveals that this average effect is primarily driven by solar developments on farm and forest lands and in rural areas, which is intuitive given the composite impact of solar, loss of open space, and loss of rural character. For these states, the local disamenities are the same order of magnitude as the global benefits of abated carbon emissions, which helps explain local opposition to siting.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Energy Economics