The Renewable Energy Potential (reV) Model: A Geospatial Platform for Technical Potential and Supply Curve Modeling

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The Renewable Energy Potential (reV) model is a platform for detailed assessment of renewable energy (RE) resources and their geospatial intersection with grid infrastructure and land use characteristics. The reV model currently supports photovoltaic (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP) and land-based wind turbine technologies. Modules in the reV framework function at different spatial and temporal resolutions, allowing for assessment of resource potential, technical potential and supply curves at varying levels of detail. The platform runs on NREL's High Performance Computing system, providing scalable and efficient performance from a single location all the way up to continental scales, for a single year or decades of time series resource data. Coupled with NREL's System Advisor Model (SAM), reV supports resource assessment from 5-minute to hourly temporal resolution and provides for analysis of long-term (i.e., year-on-year) variability of RE generation (e.g., interannual variability and exceedance probabilities). Technical potential is measured as a function of resource potential and limitations put on developable land area defined by the user. For example, the user can limit development by land ownership, terrain, land use/cover, and urban areas, as well as custom inputs. Technology, grid interconnection and operation costs, based on the latest market data and future projections, are also embedded in the model. The supply curve module is a spatial sorting algorithm based on plant siting, grid interconnection cost, and regional competition, which provides a geographically discrete estimate of levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) and supply (i.e., capacity) for specific renewable technologies. The reV model currently provides broad coverage across North America, South and Central Asia, South America and South Africa to inform national- and international-scale analyses as well as regional infrastructure and deployment planning.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages37
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-73067


  • generation potential
  • solar energy modeling
  • spatial exclusions
  • supply curve
  • technical potential
  • wind energy modeling


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