Accurate information about the wind resource and wind-energy potential in each state is required for federal and state policy initiatives that will expand the use of wind energy in the U.S. Recent resource maps and wind potential tables were developed through a collaborative project between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and AWS Truewind, LLC, Albany, New York. The resource maps for the contiguous United States, and separately for each state, show the predicted mean annual wind speeds at an 80-m height. Presented at a spatial resolution of 2.5 km (interpolated to a finer scale for display), they are derived from 200-m resolution maps developed by AWS Truewind for the windNavigator system.
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.
AWS Truewind also developed a national dataset of estimated gross capacity factor (not adjusted for losses) at a spatial resolution of 200 m and heights of 80 m and 100 m. NREL estimated the windy land area and wind energy potential in various capacity factor ranges for each state and the entire contiguous United States, using the gross capacity factor data.
The table 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. These areas are generally considered to have suitable wind resource for wind development.
- Installed Capacity is the potential MW of rated capacity that could be installed on the available windy land area, and
- Annual Generation is the estimated annual wind energy generation in 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 the Excel file in Wind Resource Exclusion Table for more detail).
NREL also produced graphs showing the wind resource potential above a given gross capacity factor at 80 and 100-m heights. The wind potential graph for the contiguous United States is available. Additional wind potential graphs and tables are included for each state.
Filed Under: Policy, Projects