abstract

The Pennsylvania Utility Commission (PUC) requires that 18% of electricity supplied in Pennsylvania come from an alternative resource by the year 2021. At present, the PUC reports that 14.2% of electricity comes from such sources and that the state is on track to meet its targets by 2021. Wind energy plays a significant role in attaining these standards. In the 2017 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Annual Report, wind power contributed to 46.9% of the Tier 1 credits retired in 2017. Although wind plays an important role, future development of utility-scale wind projects in Pennsylvania has significantly declined. In the last five years, only one new wind farm has come on line, and the oldest wind farm in Pennsylvania has been decommissioned. This research provides information regarding the challenges and issues related to the dearth of new utility-scale wind farms in Pennsylvania. This paper reviews the challenges and issues unique to the Commonwealth relating to community opposition, anti-wind ordinances, nonauthorizaton of public land use for wind projects, lack of supportive policy, and environmental issues related to birds and bats.

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