Wind on the Wire
The upper map shows the best locations for turbines, based on wind conditions, with desirability decreasing from blue to red to purple to pink to gold. The lower map shows existing high-voltage lines capable of transporting wind-generated power in red; lines needed to meet the 2030 goal for renewable energy, according to the American Electric Power/American Wind Energy Association plan, are shown in green. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) used information in the maps to project wind energy production and transmission through 2030, when wind could provide 20 percent of the nation’s energy. Called the Wind Deployment System, or WinDS, DOE’s predictive model will guide the ramped contribution of wind energy to the American electricity supply over the next 50 years.