Individual and local scale interactions and adaptations to wind energy development: A case study of Oklahoma, USA

Elsevier, Geography and Sustainability, Volume 2, Issue 3, September 2021, Pages 175-181
Caroline E. Pavlowsky, Travis Gliedt

Wind energy development receives broad support but is often opposed at the local level due to nuisance concerns and uncertainties about how it affects the landowners living due to the turbines and the broader community. Local opposition to wind energy development can be a powerful force slowing or even ending its implementation in a given region. Oklahoma, USA is currently ranked as 4th in the United States in current wind energy production and has seen significant pushback from some local communities as a renewable energy resource. Previous studies have examined wind energy development's impact on rural education income, and property values of different communities in Oklahoma. However, funding information on how wind energy development affects the individuals living alongside the turbines are limited. Using fifteen interviews with landowners, site-managers, community representatives, and pro-wind non-profit organization representatives, this study finds that individuals who live in proximity to wind energy development, particularly those involved in the agricultural industry, have created novel and unique uses for wind farm infrastructure. It also finds that local perceptions of wind energy production are mostly positive and provides increased knowledge of how wind energy development affects the individuals and communities that are hosting the turbines and related infrastructure.