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Wind Energy

There are currently over 1300 megawatts of wind power generation installed in Pennsylvania on 27 wind farms. These wind farms provide enough electricity, on average, to power nearly 350,000 Pennsylvania homes.

Utility Scale Wind

DEP regulates impacts of wind farms, typically impacts to water and wetlands mainly from road building and construction activities. DEP permitting activities occur at the Regional Office covering the area where the project will take place. As part of a normal permit application, the applicant or consultant needs to complete a PNDI Environmental Review and attempt to resolve any conflicts with the required agencies before submitting the permit application to DEP.

PNDI Environmental review

In addition to this required review, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has signed cooperative, voluntary agreements with companies developing wind energy in Pennsylvania to avoid, minimize and potentially mitigate any adverse impacts the development of wind energy may have on the state's wildlife resources.Brokered with substantial input from wind energy industry representatives and assistance from the Pennsylvania Wind and Wildlife Collaborative (PWWC), the Game Commission's "Wind Energy Voluntary Cooperation Agreement."

Pennsylvania Wind Energy Voluntary Cooperation Agreement

Construction of large wind energy projects generally requires approval by the local government(s) in which they are located.The development of many of the wind farms in Pennsylvania followed guidelines established in the Model Wind Ordinance for Local Governments (PDF).This document can be adapted as needed by the municipality that is considering wind farm development within its boundaries.

Community Wind

Most wind projects are developed by energy companies who specialize in wind power. Some communities or groups of landowners may be interested in developing their own Community Wind Project.

Click here for more infoabout Community Wind

Small Wind

Some homeowners and small enterprises may be interested in installing their own customer-sited wind project of one or two wind turbines just to meet their own needs.More information about this is available in "A Pennsylvania Consumer's Guide to Small Wind Electric Systems."

Pennsylvania Consumer's Guide to Small Wind Electric Systems (PDF)

Information about wind power in Pennsylvania, including wind maps

Additional Resources

  • PA Public Utility Commission - Pennsylvania requires 18 percent of electricity generated to come from alternative energy sources, including wind energy, within 15 years. The PA Public Utility Commission is currently devising regulations to implement this requirement. Visit their Alternative Energy site for information on this process.
  • Wind Powering America Pennsylvania Info - Information from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on wind energy activities in PA.
  • Wind Powering America - A U.S. DOE Web site providing information on the Wind Powering America initiative, which is seeking to increase the use of wind energy in the United States.
  • American Wind Energy Association - An advocacy group which promotes wind energy.
  • National Wind Coordinating Committee - Consisting of representatives from government, industry, environmental and advocacy groups, the committee works to promote the sustainable development of wind energy.