With the push for renewable energy at the turn of the century, windmills have become a commonplace part of the landscape in Pennsylvania. Due to their size and footprint, the turbines have both social and environmental costs. To reduce or negate many of the potentially adverse impacts of wind farm development and operation, a number of significant studies are conducted in both the pre- and postconstruction phases of the development process. These studies will be discussed and reviewed. Many of the preconstruction studies are requirements for wind farm development to be permitted. Impacts on both wildlife and the landscape can be significantly reduced or eliminated with careful project design, from proper wind farm siting and habitat avoidance measures, and through proper erosion control design. With proper development techniques and implementation practices, this “impact reduction” extends through the conclusion of the projects’ construction phase and into the generation phase. Proper implementation of curtailment procedures on a wind-farm-by-wind-farm or site-by-site basis significantly reduces bird and bat impacts through the projects’ active generation phase.

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