Offshore Wind Resource Potential of the United States

Donna Heimiller, Steve Haymes, Marc Schwartz, Walt Musial

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Offshore wind resources have the potential to be a significant domestic energy source. Many coastal areas have large electricity demand but have limited access to high-quality, land-based wind resource. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed a baseline offshore wind resource database that incorporates physical parameters that impact development. These characteristics include wind power class, water depth (U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's [NOAA] Coastal Relief Model), distance from shore (shoreline delineation by NOAA), and administrative jurisdiction (U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service). The database does not consider the impact of other factors on offshore wind resource, particularly environmental exclusions such as protected marine habitats, waterfowl breeding areas, and fisheries. The impact of these exclusions on offshore wind resource potential is explored using Geographic Information Systems techniques, which allow for spatial correlation of these locations. Future investigations of offshore wind resource exclusions may include high traffic seaways, underwater infrastructure, and other factors.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2007
EventOceans 2007 MTS/IEEE Conference - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: 29 Sep 20074 Oct 2007


ConferenceOceans 2007 MTS/IEEE Conference
CityVancouver, BC

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-581-43404


  • potential energy production
  • wind resource assessment


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