Why is it important to know the locations of wind turbines?

No publicly-available, national database of wind turbines existed prior to the creation of the USGS Windfarm mapper, which was replaced with the U.S. Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) in 2018. 

Knowing the location of individual turbines and their technical specifications creates new opportunities for research and improved siting and is important information for land and resource management. In addition, large turbines can affect weather and air traffic radar. Knowing the location and height of turbines creates a better understanding of radar-wind issues and increases the effectiveness of planning both new radar and new wind turbine locations.

 

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Can wind turbines harm wildlife?

A key challenge facing the wind industry is the potential for turbines to adversely affect wild animals both directly, via collisions, as well as indirectly due to noise pollution, habitat loss, and reduced survival or reproduction. Among the most impacted wildlife are birds and bats, which by eating destructive insects provide billions of dollars...

How many wind turbines are installed in the U.S. each year?

The number of turbines installed in the U.S. each year varies based on a number of factors, but on average 3,000 turbines have been built in the U.S. each year since 2005. Learn more: Wind Energy U.S. Wind Turbine Database

How much wind energy does it take to power an average home?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration , the average U.S. home uses 867 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month. The mean turbine capacity in the U.S. Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) is 1.67 megawatts (MW). At a 33% capacity factor, that average turbine would generate over 402,000 kWh per month - enough for over 460 average U.S. homes. To...

Is there an international wind turbine database available?

No. To our knowledge, the U.S. Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) is unique. Other datasets might be available from other countries on an ad hoc basis, but we are not aware of any central repository of those data. For general information and statistics on international wind projects, see thewindpower.net .

Why isn't the turbine in my backyard included in the U.S. Wind Turbine Database?

The U.S. Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) is designed to be a comprehensive source of information for utility-scale wind turbines in the United States; residential-scale turbines are excluded. We have removed turbines known to be residential scale and have excluded turbines that are both less than 65 kW in rated capacity and less than 30 meters in...

How many turbines are contained in the U.S. Wind Turbine Database?

As of January 2019, the U.S. Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) contains more than 58,000 turbines. These turbines have all been constructed since 1980 in approximately 1,500 wind power projects spanning at least 43 states (plus Puerto Rico and Guam).
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Date published: May 16, 2018

Mapping the Nation's Wind Turbines

There are more than 57,000 wind turbines across the United States, and a new tool allows you to get up close and personal with each one!

Date published: April 19, 2018

U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Department of Energy Release Online Public Dataset and Viewer of U.S. Wind Turbine Locations and Characteristics

Today, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association, released the United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) and the USWTDB Viewer to access this new public dataset.

Date published: January 10, 2017

Advancing Wind Energy and Avoiding Wildlife Conflicts

Our Nation works to advance renewable energy and to avoid conflicts with and conserve wildlife.

Date published: December 4, 2012

Birds at Sea and Offshore Wind Energy

Reston, Va. – Offshore wind energy development and migratory birds is the topic of a free public lecture Wednesday, December 5, at 7 p.m. at the U.S. Geological Survey National Center in Reston, Va. 

 

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Wind Farm
August 29, 2016

Wind Farm

Screenshot from the USGS windFarm map
July 11, 2016

WindFarm Map Screenshot

A screenshot from the USGS's windFarm app, an interactive app mapping wind energy turbines around the U.S.

wind turbines
April 26, 2016

windfarm_map.jpg

Attribution: Energy and Minerals
Wheat field wind turbines in Wyoming.
December 31, 2014

Wheat Field Wind Turbines in Wyoming

Wheat field wind turbines in Wyoming.

Preview of the USGS WindFarm – Wind Turbine Interactive Web Map: Conterminous United States

WindFarm Mapper Preview

From USGS WindFarm – Wind Turbine Interactive Web Map: Conterminous United States

Image: Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines

Wind turbines at certain sites in North America each cause dozens of bat fatalities per year.