First Advisor

Casey Tiley

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Physics and University Honors




Wind power plants -- United States -- Public opinion, NIMBY syndrome, Wind power plants -- Environmental aspects -- United States, Wind power plants -- Social aspects -- United States, Land use -- United States -- Planning




The central purpose of this thesis was to identify how the choices made by wind farm developers lead to backlash from local community members, focusing primarily on a resistance mentality referred to as NIMBY (Not In My Backyard). The goal of this discussion is to offer wind farm developers a medium by which to understand the causes and concerns of the NIMBY movement, as well as what steps can be taken to address or prevent these issues. Research was pursued by selecting a number of wind farms and searching for correlations between technical specifications and political backlash. By first collecting characteristic information of these wind farms (budget, type/number of turbines, etc.) and then reviewing publications about NIMBY opposition regarding the particular projects that were selected, this thesis was able to identify three primary considerations for wind developers. Firstly, an open, ongoing dialogue with local residents allows for a sustainable community-facility relationship and helps to foster grassroots reinforcement of the entire wind industry. Secondly, ecological considerations should be accounted for before and during development, and just as consistently throughout commercial operation. Lastly, location and configuration of the turbine field should offer a balance of employee accessibility and seclusion from residential populations.


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