Utah Wind Resource Map and Wind Potential Capacity
The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published an 80-meter (m) height wind resource map for Utah. This map is a key component of understanding the state's wind potential capacity from a development, policy, and a jobs and economic development impact perspective.
About the 80-Meter Utah Wind Resource Map
The wind resource map shows the predicted mean annual wind speeds at an 80-m height, presented at a spatial resolution of about 2 kilometers that is interpolated to a finer scale for display. Areas with annual average wind speeds around 6.5 meters per second and greater at 80-m height are generally considered to have a resource suitable for wind development. Utility-scale, land-based wind turbines are typically installed between 80- and 100-m high although tower heights for new installations are increasing—up to 140 m—to gain access to better wind resources higher aloft.
The average wind speeds indicated on this map are model-derived estimates that may not represent the true wind resource at any given location. Small terrain features, vegetation, buildings, and atmospheric effects may cause the wind speed to depart from the map estimates. Anyone planning to estimate energy production potential should seek expert advice or detailed wind resource assessments.
Utah Wind Potential Capacity
The chart shows the wind potential capacity above a given gross capacity factor at both 80-m and 100-m heights for Utah.
NREL estimated the land area and wind potential capacity in various capacity factor ranges for each state using AWS Truepower's gross capacity factor data. The table lists the estimates of land area with a gross capacity of 30% and greater at an 80-m height and the wind potential capacity from development of the "available" land area after exclusions. In the table, "installed capacity" shows the potential megawatts of rated capacity that could be installed on the available land area, and "annual generation" shows the estimated annual wind energy generation in gigawatt-hours that could be produced from the installed capacity. Areas excluded for wind development by law as well as urban areas and water bodies are not included (see Wind Resource Exclusion Table for more detail). Additional wind potential tables are included for various capacity factor ranges.
These maps and wind potential estimates resulted from a collaborative project between NREL and AWS Truepower. The U.S. Department of Energy's WINDExchange initiative supported these mapping efforts.