This is an excerpt from the Second Quarter 2012 edition of the Wind Program R&D Newsletter.

The Energy Department recently released a new wind resource map compiled by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and AWS Truepower that combines land-based with offshore resources.

The new combined map, posted on the Department's Wind Program website, provides developers and policymakers a comprehensive picture of the nation's wind resources at 80-m for all 50 states as well as offshore resources up to 50 nautical miles from shore. It allows users to easily compare land-based with offshore wind resources. For example, it shows that the offshore wind resource of the Great Lakes is comparable to that found in the windier areas of the western plains states. It also demonstrates the potential for offshore resources to provide for the electricity needs of the heavily populated coastal regions.

The new resource map was developed with the support of the Energy Department through a collaborative effort between NREL and AWS Truepower of Albany, New York. It shows the predicted mean annual wind speeds at 80-m height produced from AWS Truepower's data at a spatial resolution of 2.5 km and interpolated to a finer scale.

Read more about the Wind Program's wind resource assessment and characterization efforts. For state-specific maps of offshore wind resources at 90 m and land-based resource maps at a variety of heights (including residential and community applications), visit the WINDExchange website—Maps & Data.