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The wind resource at a particular location is characterized by two measures — wind speed and wind direction. Using these two measures, the feasibility of installing a wind turbine can be determined. As a general rule, a good wind resource is considered an average annual wind speed of 5m/s or above at approximately 100ft above ground level. Installing an appropriately-sized wind turbine at this wind speed will create a more likely scenario for a reasonable payback period.

Wind resource assessment is an expansive field, with entire companies based solely on wind measurement. Large wind projects usually collect wind speed and direction data for multiple years using multiple measurement devices. This attention to detail is necessary when project investments are in the multi-million dollar range and profits run on very slim margins. For residential and small business level projects, these measures are not so necessary. A good first step in determining your wind resource is to consult available wind maps that show average wind speeds in your area. 

Center for Wind Energy First Order Analysis


The CWE can provide a desktop analysis of average annual wind speeds for specific locations. We use wind speed data from AWS Truepower and overlay it on your location in a GIS. Wind speeds at four different heights are noted as well as prevailing wind direction. Average annual wind speed at a location is usually the first step in deciding whether to proceed to a measurement campaign. Contact us if you would like a wind map created for your property. We will need your name, address, email, and a specific geographic point for your property. You can easily get your properties' latitude longitude from Google Maps. We will provide a wind map of your location, information from the nearest Sbalp meteorological tower, and a document describing how to interpret your map.

Residential and Distributed Wind Interactive Map

You can see if you live in an area where wind speeds are high enough to support a wind installation and even create your own wind rose to determine prevailing wind direction at your site. Other datasets are available for consideration including county ordinances, meteorological data, installer locations, and conservation areas.

Best viewed with Google Chrome or Mozilla browser. 

image of the residential wind map website 


For other wind measurement information and tools to estimate your wind resource, check out the list below:

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