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Wind Maps

NREL's Geospatial Data Science Team offers both a national wind resource assessment of the United States and high-resolution wind data. The national wind resource assessment was created for the U.S. Department of Energy in 1986 by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory and is documented in the Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States, October 1986. This national wind resource data provides an estimate of the annual average wind resource for the conterminous United States, with a resolution of 1/3 degree of latitude by 1/4 degree of longitude.

The wind resource assessment was based on surface wind data, coastal marine area data, and upper-air data, where applicable. In data-sparse areas, three qualitative indicators of wind speed or power were used when applicable: topographic/meteorological indicators (e.g. gorges, mountain summits, sheltered valleys); wind deformed vegetation; and eolian landforms (e.g. playas, sand dunes). The data was evaluated at a regional level to produce 12 regional wind resource assessments; the regional assessments were then incorporated into the national wind resource assessment.

The conterminous United States was divided into grid cells 1/4 degree of latitude by 1/3 degree of longitude. Each grid cell was assigned a wind power class ranging from 1 to 6, with 6 being the windiest. The wind power density limits for each wind power class are shown in Table 1-1. Each grid cell contains sites of varying power class. The assigned wind power class is representative of the range of wind power densities likely to occur at exposed sites within the grid cell. Hilltops, ridge crests, mountain summits, large clearings, and other locations free of local obstruction to the wind will be well exposed to the wind. In contrast, locations in narrow valleys and canyons, downwind of hills or obstructions, or in forested or urban areas are likely to have poor wind exposure.

Thumbnail image of the national 30m wind speed potential in the United States map.
Thumbnail image of the national 80m wind resource potential in the United States map.
Thumbnail image of the national 80m land-based and off shore annual wind resource potential in the United States map.
Thumbnail image of the 90m offshore wind resource potential in the United States.
Thumbnail image of the 100m wind resource potential in the United States.
Thumbnail image of the national 50m wind resource potential in the United States map.

U.S. Annual Average Wind Speed at 30m Map

This map shows national 30m wind speed potential for the United States. State maps are available at the WINDExchange website.


U.S. 80m Wind Resource Maps

This map shows national 80m wind resource potential for the United States.

This map shows national 80m land-based and offshore annual wind resource potential for the United States.


Additional 80m maps using higher resolution data are available at the WINDExchange and U.S. DOE EERE websites.

U.S. 90m Offshore Wind Resource Map

This map shows 90m offshore wind resource potential for the United States.


U.S. 100m Wind Speed Map

This map shows the land-based and offshore annual average wind speed at 100m for the United States.

U.S. 50m Wind Resource Map

This map shows national 50m wind resource potential for the United States.


For more wind resource maps, access the MapSearch site.

For information on how the 50m maps were developed, access the GIS Data Background page. For information on how some of the other wind maps were developed, access the WINDExchange and U.S. DOE EERE websites.

For Geographic Information System (GIS) wind resource data, access the Data Resources page.

For interactive maps and tools for viewing maps and data, access the Data Visualization and Tools page.

If you have difficulty accessing these maps because of a disability, please contact the Webmaster.