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Wind Energy Potential in the USA


Wind Energy Resource Potential

U.S. Annual Wind Power Resource and Wind Power Classes  - Contiguous U.S. States

Good wind areas, which cover 6% of the contiguous U.S. land area, have the potential to supply more than one and a half times the current electricity consumption of the United States.

Estimates of the wind resource are expressed in wind power classes ranging from class 1 to class 7, with each class representing a range of mean wind power density or equivalent mean speed at specified heights above the ground. Areas designated class 4 or greater are suitable with advanced wind turbine technology under development today. Power class 3 areas may be suitable for future technology. Class 2 areas are marginal and class 1 areas are unsuitable for wind energy development.


Strong, frequent winds are ideal for generating electricity. The best resource areas are shown on maps incorporating wind speeds based on measurements taken throughout the year at monitoring stations and on estimations coming from the newest meteorological models.
For a specific location, annual average wind speed is used to calculate the amount of energy in the wind blowing through a wind turbine's rotor per square meter of area. This is expressed as watts per square meter. From this calculation of the energy available in the wind, geographic areas as small as one square mile are assigned a wind power class from 1 to 7.
State officials and developers use this information to find the best areas for wind development. Sites in wind power class 3 or higher are candidates for wind farm development. Class 2 sites or higher offer possibilities for adding small wind generators.



Renewable Potential Maps (EIA)

Renewable Potential Maps present an integrated picture of renewable energy resources in each U.S. Census Division. Solar, geothermal, and wind energy potentials and indicators of hydroelectric and biomass energy potentials (fuelwood harvested, rivers, and precipitation) are presented.

The Renewable Potential Map series includes maps of each of the nine U.S. Census Divisions and individual State maps of Alaska, California, and Hawaii.

Regions/ States

Alaska | California | New England | East North Central Division | East South Central Division | Hawaii | Middle Atlantic | Mountain Division | Pacific Division | South Atlantic | West North Central Division | West South Central Division

Alaska | Alabama | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Connecticut | Colorado | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Washington | Wisconsin | Wyoming | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | West Virginia

Related GENI Resources
Definition Wind Energy
Current Articles on Renewable Energy Resources and Transmission
National Energy Grid Maps
American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)
NREL Wind Energy
EERE Wind Energy
American Renewable Energy (US)