Wind Maps and Wind Resource Potential Estimates
May 17, 2010 - U.S.Department of Energy - windpoweringamerica.gov
United States and State — 80-Meter Wind Resource Maps
The U.S. map shows the predicted mean annual wind speeds at 80-m height (at a spatial resolution of 2.5 km that is interpolated to a finer scale). Areas with annual average wind speeds around 6.5 m/s and greater at 80-m height are generally considered to have suitable wind resource for wind development.
NREL has conducted a preliminary review and validation of the AWS Truewind's 80-m map estimates for 19 selected states (6 Western states, 6 Midwestern states, and 7 Eastern states) based on tower measurements at heights of about 50 m and above from more than 300 locations.
United States — Wind Resource Potential
Quick Links to State Wind Resource Potential Tables
Find state wind resource potential tables in three versions: Microsoft Excel 2007, 2003, and Adobe Acrobat PDF.
30% Capacity Factor at 80-Meters
Additional 80- and 100-Meter Wind Resource Potential Tables
Additionally, a national dataset was produced of estimated gross capacity factor (not adjusted for losses) at a spatial resolution of 200 m and heights of 80 m and 100 m. Using AWS Truewind's gross capacity factor data, NREL estimated the windy land area and wind energy potential in various capacity factor ranges for each state. The table (Excel 108 KB) lists the estimates of windy land area with a gross capacity of 30% and greater at 80-m height and the wind energy potential from development of the "available" windy land area after exclusions. The "Installed Capacity" is the potential megawatts (MW) of rated capacity that could be installed on the available windy land area, and the "Annual Generation" is the estimated annual wind energy generation in gigawatt-hours (GWh) that could be produced from the installed capacity. NREL reduced the wind potential estimates by excluding areas unlikely to be developed such as wilderness areas, parks, urban areas, and water features (see Wind Resource Exclusion Table for more detail). Additional wind potential tables (Excel 208 KB) are included for various capacity factor ranges.
NREL produced charts showing the wind resource potential above a given gross capacity factor at both 80-m and 100-m heights. Here is the wind potential chart for the contiguous United States. Additional wind potential charts are included for each state. Click on the U.S. map to view individual state maps and charts.
The chart show the potential gigawatts of rated capacity above a given gross capacity factor (without losses) at 80-m and 100-m heights above ground. You can view a larger version or download a printable map (PDF 106 KB) Download Adobe Reader.
These maps and wind potential estimates resulted from a collaborative project between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and AWS Truewind of Albany, New York. This is the first comprehensive update of the wind energy potential by state since 1993. NREL has worked with AWS Truewind for almost a decade on updating wind resource maps for 36 states and producing validated maps for 50-meter height above ground. U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America project supported the mapping efforts.
Before you plan to install your own wind turbine or wind farm, you must know if the wind resource in your location is adequate. From wind resource maps, you can determine if your area of interest should be further explored. Wind resource at a micro level can vary significantly; therefore, you should get a professional evaluation of your specific area of interest.