Geographic Information Systems in Support of Wind Energy Activities at NREL

Donna M. Heimiller, Steven R. Haymes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

7 Scopus Citations


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to further the development of wind energy resources in support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Energy Program and its Wind Powering America Initiative. A GIS consists of computer hardware and software that inputs, stores, maintains, manipulates, analyzes, and outputs geographically referenced data. Some of the elements of NREL's GIS data used in wind energy activities include wind measurement sites, transmission lines, federal facility information, and modeled wind resources. A relatively simple GIS analysis technique involves combining data layers to summarize spatial information. This type of analysis is used to identify areas with strong potential for wind resource development using potential wind resource availability, electricity rate, and federal electricity load information. More complex GIS analyses can define relationships among the mapped wind energy resources, potential energy load characterization, and utility integration problems. A GIS is an outstanding tool for wind energy activities because data can be readily updated and the results of the GIS analyses can be expressed as charts, tables, and maps. These outputs are in digital formats that allow the results of GIS analyses to be quickly and efficiently distributed to the wind energy industry.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2001
Event20th 2001 ASME Wind Energy Symposium - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: 11 Jan 200114 Jan 2001


Conference20th 2001 ASME Wind Energy Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno, NV

Bibliographical note

For preprint version including full-text online document see NREL/CP-500-29164

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-500-32341


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