From Asheville's C-T.com (Lawmakers spar ...):

Something has been nagging me about this one since I first heard about it. I wondered if anyone has ever conducted any research on this issue?*

Answer: Yes! (Green vs. Green):

We asked this question ...

*randomly assigned bid*] each month per household. Suppose that this proposal, approving the electrical payment reduction and allowing electrical windmills to be built, is on the next election ballot. How would you vote on this proposal?

... and find that the willingness to accept compensation to allow wind turbines on ridge lines is $23 per household per year. In Watauga County, the cost of lost views adds up to $426,400 per year.

In the absence of a real analysis, "someone" should develop a quick and dirty estimate of the benefits of wind turbines on on four ridge lines. How much power would that produce? Our local wind turbine produces enough power for about 10-15 homes. If the annual power bill is about $1200, then the annual benefits of 1 turbine, in terms of reduced energy costs, are $12,000 to $18,000. Suppose there are 10 turbines on each of the four ridge lines in the case study above. Then, the annual benefits are about $480,000 to $560,000. Ignoring, climate change and other nonmarket effects, the benefits of wind turbines might be worth the cost (given these assumptions).

*Note: You wouldn't blame me too much for forgetting if you knew how minor my contribution was on this paper. Let's see, I am one of 3 authors so if I contributed a third then that would be only 33%. We'll leave the contribution analysis right there.

Update: Here is a comment I received at the Energy Collective:

"If the annual power bill is about $1200, then the annual benefits of 1 turbine, in terms of reduced energy costs, are $12,000 to $18,000."

Corrected version:

If the annual power bill is about $1200, then the annual value of the output of 1 turbine, is about $12,000 to $18,000, assuming that the value of 25% capacity factor power is equal to the value of power from a "four nines" grid. The value of this power would also be its "annual benefits" if and only if the installed cost of the turbines equalled zero and they did not require maintenance.

The actual annual cost of the turbine output, interestingly, is not discussed here.

My reply:I was trying to get some "quick and dirty" numbers out there (note the first line of the last paragraph) and then hope that someone would provide a snarky correction.

Thanks!