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US pinpoints 47,000 turbine sites

US pinpoints 47,000 turbine sites image

The US Geological Survey (USGS) and federal Department of the Interior (DOI) today released an interactive map and geo-dataset showing more than 47,000 onshore wind turbine locations and related information across the country.

“In making this critical information available to the public, the USGS has provided public agencies and private companies with a new tool to help guide smart landscape-level planning decisions that support domestic energy production while minimizing conflicts,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

“The data will help improve the siting of future wind energy projects as well as aid land managers in devising more up-to-date land-use and multiple-use plans.”

The map, which includes turbines installed as of July 2013, was created by combining publicly available data from the Federal Aviation Administration, the US Energy Information Administration, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, other federal, state and local sources as well as additional previously un-mapped turbines.

The location of each turbine was verified to within about 10 meters and its technical specifications were assigned based on the make and model.

The project is part of a larger effort to assess wind energy impacts, said DOI assistant secretary for water and science Anne Castle.

“Removing obstacles to clean energy is an important component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan,” said Castle.

The president directed the DOI to permit 20GW of renewable energy on public lands by 2020. Since 2009, the department has approved 48 solar, wind and geothermal utility-scale projects on public lands, including associated transmission corridors and interconnection infrastructure. These projects add up to more than 13.3GW.

Image: US has approved more than 13.3MW of renewable energy projects on public lands since 2009 (Dept of Energy)

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