reV: The Renewable Energy Potential Model (Text Version)

This is the text version of the video reV: The Renewable Energy Potential Model. This video demonstrates how the Renewable Energy Potential (reV) model can be used for wind farm planning.

[Animation of a person typing on a computer.]

[Narrator speaks]

Are you ready to build a wind farm? NREL's reV model is the ultimate planning tool for maximum renewable generation at the lowest cost. Just plug in your wind technology and the area you're interested in, and you're ready to go. Let's get started.

[Map of United States with wind blowing west to east.]

Here's your land. Imagine what it could be! reV finds the areas where the wind blows the most.

Next, it figures out where not to build your wind farm by considering how the land is used.

[Icons representing different land uses are layered with each other one by-one.]

reV adds roads and railways, houses and buildings, lakes and streams, wildlife areas, topography of the land, community preferences for renewable energy, and regulations.

[Empty space on map is circled.]

Aha! Now we know where to build your wind farm, but let's figure out exactly how to arrange your turbines. reV spaces out the turbines so they generate more power—but not too far apart because you have to pay to connect them.

[Wind turbines are arranged on the empty space.]

There we go!

The final step is knowing how your wind farm plugs into the power grid. reV overlays the electricity system and determines if you need to build new transmission lines.

[Dotted lines lead from wind turbines to transmission lines. Shortest path is highlighted.]

The longer the transmission line the more expensive it is, so reV routes exactly where they should go to add the least cost. Awesome, you're connected!

Now you have your fully optimized wind farm, and reV totals the wind generation and supply and system cost, so you know the full potential of your region. reV can do this process for a single site up to an entire continent—now and decades into the future—for wind, solar photovoltaics, and concentrating solar power. And each individual wind or solar system includes millions of weather data points and billions of land-use data points, so you know exactly what to expect for each individual site.

If you're an energy modeler, reV tells you the amount of wind and solar supply, where it's located, and the quality and cost, and it calculates how much power a system can produce every hour.

If you're a policymaker, reV totals how much wind and solar potential you have in your area to develop realistic clean energy goals.

And if you're an R&D investor, reV determines which technologies have the biggest potential.

Whatever is important to you when it comes to building new wind and solar, reV can help. It takes everything into account, so you don't have to. You simply imagine your goals—big or small—and see how they come together.

Learn more about the model and how it works.