Increasing global energy demand is fostering development of renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. However, renewable energy facilities may adversely affect wildlife. Facility siting guidelines recommend or require project developers complete pre‐ and post‐construction wildlife surveys to predict risk and estimate effects of proposed projects. Despite this, there are no published studies that have quantified the types of surveys used, or how survey types are standardized within and across facilities. We evaluated 633 peer‐reviewed publications, unpublished reports, and citations, and we analyzed data from 540 of these sources (203 facilities: 193 wind; 10 solar) in the U.S. and Canada to determine: (1) frequency of pre‐ and post‐construction surveys and whether that frequency changed over time; (2) frequency of studies explicitly designed to allow before‐after or impact‐control analyses; and (3) what types of survey data were collected during pre‐ and post‐construction periods and how those data types were standardized across periods and among facilities. Within our dataset, post‐construction monitoring for wildlife fatalities and habitat use was standard practice (n = 461 reports), but pre‐construction estimation of baseline wildlife habitat use and mortality was less frequently reported (n = 85). Only 22% (n = 45) of the 203 facilities provided data from both pre‐ and post‐ construction, and 29% (n = 59) had experimental study designs. Of 108 facilities at which habitat use surveys were conducted, only 3% included detection probability estimation. Thus, the available data generally preclude comparison of biological data across construction periods and among facilities. Use of experimental study designs and following similar field protocols would improve knowledge of how renewable energy affects wildlife.