First national wind turbine map released

North Dakota has wind turbines in various locations, so does Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota and a number of other states.

The U.S. Interior Department and U.S. Geological Survey teamed up to develop the first national wind turbine map and database that is available to the public and released this past week.

The interactive map and geo-dataset shows more than 47,000 onshore wind turbine locations and related information across the entire United States.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said the data will help improve the siting of future wind energy projects and also aid land managers in devising more up-to-date land-use and multiple-use plans, according to a news release.

The wind turbine map, which includes turbines installed as of July 2013, was created by combining publicly available data sets from the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as well as other federal, state and local sources.

USGS researchers also identified additional turbines not in those pre-existing databases and added them to the dataset and map. The locations of all turbines were visually verified using high-resolution imagery. The location of each turbine was verified to within plus or minus 10 meters, and its technical specifications were assigned based on the make and model.

Before the release of the interactive map today, some individual state maps with turbine information and national maps of facility information existed, but there were no national maps with turbine-specific information and verified locations.

Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle said the data will also support research on wind generation efficiency,

economic impacts, and applied science for reducing wildlife impacts.

To view the interactive map, visit the website at (eerscmap.usgs.gov/windfarm/).

To view the data set publication, visit the website at (pubs.usgs.gov/ds/817/).