Case Studies: Controversial Wind Farms

All of the below wind projects have been identified as contentious on the grounds of aesthetic impact. Our definition of aesthetic impact includes issues regarding the perceived loss of property values, the loss of recreational opportunities, wildlife impacts in protected areas that are enjoyed by tourists and local residents, and in some cases sound pollution. The information is based on the current status of construction (August 2008). The table below includes an assessment of the level of controversy surrounding each project. The case studies are coded as:

Wind Controversy Case Studies Map

Wind Farm




Level of Controversy


Elk River Wind

Butler County, KS

100 Turbines 150 MW


Moderately contentious


Forward Wind Energy Center

Fond Du Lac and Dodge Counties, WI

86 Turbines
129 MW


Highly contentious


Horse Hollow

Taylor and Nolan Counties, TX

421 Turbines 735 MW

FPL Energy

Moderately contentious


Wild Horse Wind

Kittitas County, WA

127 Turbines 230 MW

EDP Renewables

Little opposition


Cohocton Wind

Steuben County, NY

35 Turbines
87 MW

First Wind

Highly contentious


Highland Wind

Highland County, VA

20 Turbines
40 MW

Highland New Wind Development

Highly contentious

Approved and under construction

Valley County Wind Energy Project

Valley County, MT

~6 turbines
10 MW


Moderately contentious

Scaled back from 500 MW project to 10 MW test facility and completed

Redington / Black Nubble Wind

Franklin County, ME

18 Turbines
54 MW

Maine Mountain Power

Highly contentious


Jordanville Wind Farm

Jordanville, NY

49 Turbines
98 MW

Community Energy / Iberdrola

Highly contentious

Scaled back from 65 turbines and delayed

Cascade Wind

Wasco County, OR

40 Turbines
60 MW

First Wind

Highly contentious