Mapping the Nation's Wind Turbines

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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!

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

In this video, we'll show you how you can get to know each and every one of the 57,000 wind turbines in the United States with our U.S. Wind Turbine Database and viewer, which we've assembled in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association. Credit: Christopher Garrity, USGS Energy Resources Program

(Public domain.)

This new Wind Turbine Database is a comprehensive dataset of U.S. wind turbine locations and characteristics that is easily accessible, more accurate, and updated more often than existing wind turbine datasets. This dataset and its associated viewer allow federal agencies to share data to properly develop and plan around wind projects. The availability of these data are crucial to planning for government agencies, as well as researchers.

The database currently contains data from more than 57,000 turbines, constructed from the 1980s through 2018, in more than 1,700 wind power projects spanning 43 states plus Puerto Rico and Guam. The UWTDB is an update from the USGS WindFarm Database and Viewer, which were the first publicly available interactive map and geo-dataset of onshore wind turbines in the United States.

Image shows wind turbines on a snow-dusted field

Power County Wind Farm (Credit: Douglas Barnes, U.S. Department of Energy) 

Public domain

The primary role of the USGS in this partnership is visually verifying turbine locations using high resolution imagery and fixing turbine locations when necessary. USGS has access to large amounts of remote images and specializes in the interpretation of digital imagery. In addition, USGS verifies dismantled turbines or “repowered” turbines, which occurs when a smaller turbine is replaced with a larger one.

USGS also hosts the database in its Sciencebase platform and developed the web viewer which allows users to rapidly find turbines and summarize information about them.

More information about this database and other USGS energy research can be found here. Stay up to date with USGS energy science by subscribing to the USGS Energy Newsletter or following USGS on Twitter.