If you’re wondering what part of the United States is best suited to wind power production, a good place to start is a map put together by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It can be accessed using the first link listed below. In general, the central and western parts of the country are the best choices, along with parts of the coastlines. The top three states for wind energy production, according to the American Wind Energy Association, are North Dakota, Texas, and Kansas. However, specific landscapes can create favorable conditions for a small collection of wind turbines, despite the inadvisability of the general area, including flat, elevated areas and areas known as “wind tunnels.” It’s important to remember, of course, that the amount of wind in an area can vary greatly depending on the season, which can influence the steadiness of electricity production levels.
Some good resources for further information can be found on websites for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Program called “Wind Powering America”, and the “American Wind Energy Association.”
In general, the best locations for wind turbines are at high altitudes and wherever else tends to have the highest-speed, most consistent and most readily accessible winds. Some of the best winds for year-round energy production lie in the waters off the eastern U.S. – see the first link below for a 2010 study done by National Renewable Energy Laboratory on U.S. offshore wind potential; a significant offshore resource is found in the Pacific and Great Lakes regions as well. The greatest onshore U.S. wind potential tends to be found in Plains and Rocky Mountain states.
NREL also maintains wind resource maps for many countries throughout the world(see below). You can use a wind resource map to help identify the best potential locations for wind farms, then rent sonar-base wind measuring equipment (typically supplied by the wind power industry) to test the quality of wind once a proposed location is selected.
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