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Help Guide

The United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) provides onshore & offshore wind turbine locations in the United States, corresponding facility information, and turbine technical specifications. The USWTDB Viewer, a product form the U.S. Geological Survey, lets users visualize, inspect, interact, and download the USWTDB through a simple web application. In this detailed guide, we will take a tour of the various components of the Viewer and show you what each can do. Be sure to check out our quick start video to see the Viewer in action. The video shows examples of the items described in the guide below. Have a question? Contact us.

See Our Help Video
Image: Douglas Barnes
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory> American Wind Energy Association

Getting Around

Most web mapping interfaces have a variety of ways to zoom/pan around the map. In the USWTDB Viewer, panning is enabled by default. Simply click anywhere on the map, hold down the left mouse button, and drag the mouse. For touch-enabled devices, simply swipe the map interface. For zooming into an area, we offer the Zoom in icon magnifier tool, but you may find it more convenient to:

  • Hold the shift key and drag a box over your area of interest
  • Double-click on the map (triggers a single zoom-in event)
  • Use the mouse scroll wheel (also used for zooming out)
  • On touch enabled devices, use a multi-touch pinch gesture

To zoom out a single zoom level, click on the Zoom out icon icon or via a spread gesture on touch-enabled devices. To return the initial map view of the conterminous United States, click the Full extent icon icon.

Two related tools that let you toggle between current and previous views, and they may be useful if you have been navigating around the map. Clicking Privous extent icon will return you to the map view just prior to your current view. If you’ve used Previous extent icon to “step back”, then Next extent icon will let you “step forward.”

Zoom location

You can adjust your pitch and bearing, to get an oblique view of the data in the map interface. Simply hold the CTRL key and left mouse button while you drag the mouse. To reset your map view to the default pitch and bearing values, click the Pitch/bearing reset icon icon.

Zoom to Location

To find turbines around a location– such as your house, a town, or a larger area – use the location search bar. Enter specific information, such as your full street address (e.g., 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192) or a latitude/longitude coordinate pair, or more general information (e.g., zip code, town name, or county name). Note that, when using a latitude/longitude pair, longitude is preceded by a minus sign if it is west of the prime meridian (locations in the United States, for example). The location tool accepts latitude/longitude pairs in decimal degrees, separated by a comma (e.g., 38.5, -98.30).

If you provide a unique and specific location, like an address or a zip code, the Viewer will zoom to the location and generate a list of projects that intersect the map view. If you enter more general information (e.g., Boston), a dropdown list will appear (e.g., Boston, Massachusetts; Boston Harbor Islands; Boston National Historical Park)–select one, and you will be zoomed to that feature.

Turbine Information

When you hover over or click on any turbines in the interface, a pop-up populated with turbine specific attributes appears. Turbine attribute data were gathered from the Federal Aviation Administration's Digital Obstacle File (DOF) and Obstruction Evaluation Airport Airspace Analysis (OE-AAA), the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, and online sources.

Turbine information

Turbine ID – A unique stable integer used for turbine identification purposes.

Project Name – Name of the wind power project a turbine is part of. Project names are typically provided to AWEA by the project developer. We identified some names via other web resources. Projects without specific known names were assigned a name based on the county they occupy.

Year Online – The year that the wind power project became operational and began providing power. In some cases, the year is estimated based on the year the turbine was constructed.

Rated Capacity – Manufacturer's stated output power for this turbine at rated wind speed, in megawatts.

Hub Height – Height at which the nacelle and hub are mounted, in meters.

Rotor Diameter – Diameter of the sweep of the turbine's blades, in meters.

Total Height – Height of the turbine from ground to the tip of a vertically extended blade, in meters. Computed as the hub height plus half of the rotor diameter when those data are available.

Turbine Manufacturer – Name of the original equipment manufacturer of the turbine.

Turbine Model – Manufacturer's model name of the turbine.

Attribute Confidence – Level of confidence in the turbine's attribute values. "None" – attribute confidence has not been assigned for this turbine. "Low" – no confidence: no information available currently. "Medium" – partial confidence: incomplete information, discrepancies across data sources, or other issues found. "High" – full confidence: consistent information across multiple data sources.

Location Confidence – Level of confidence in the turbine's location. "None" – location confidence has not been assigned for this turbine. "Low" – no confidence: nothing on image, image has clouds, turbine was never built or was previously removed, or newer imagery is needed. "Medium" – partial confidence: image shows developed pad with base and/or turbine parts on ground. "High" – full confidence: consistent information across multiple data sources.

Latitude – Current latitude of the turbine point, in decimal degrees (NAD 83).

Longitude – Current longitude of the turbine point, in decimal degrees (NAD 83).

Using the Project Site Table

When you zoom in far enough, a wind project table becomes populated along the right side of the interface. By default, the table lists all wind projects that appear within the current view and includes information like project name, project year online, and the number of turbines in the project. To highlight a particular project in the map interface, simply mouseover that project’s table record. Clicking the record zooms the map view to the selected project. Above the project table, you will see the number of projects currently in the map view based on the filter(s) being applied (capacity range, date range, project name keyword, etc.).

Project Table

You can sort the project table by project name, year online, or average project capacity by clicking any of the sort buttons above the project table. Note that the sort method you choose persists as you populate additional project tables. This is especially useful if, for example, you always want the most recent projects in the database to take priority in your project table updates.

Project Information

The basic metadata information for particular projects can be viewed in the projects table. The information in each project record includes:

Project Information

Project Name – Name of the wind power project that the turbine is part of. If the project does not have a specific known name, a name is assigned based on the county in which the turbines are located.

Project State – State in which the turbine is located.

Number of Project Turbines – Number of turbines in the selected wind power project.

Online Year – Year the wind power project became operational and began providing power. In some cases, the year is estimated based on the year the turbine was constructed.

Total Rated Capacity – Cumulative capacity of all turbines in the wind power project, in megawatts.

Average Turbine Capacity – Estimated average capacity of an individual turbine in the selected wind power project, in megawatts.

Search by Project Name

Advanced users who are familiar with wind turbine project names can find them via the project keyword search bar in the upper left of the interface. As you type, project search returns matching your inquiry become auto-populated in a dropdown list below the input field. Simply click the name of the project in the dropdown list to be zoomed automatically to the project site.

Project Search

By default, the first five project keyword matches are returned in the dropdown list. Adding additional characters will refine the search for projects with similar names.

Filtering Data

Filtering turbine data in the USTWDB viewer is dynamic and interactive. When you filter data with range filter (activated when you choose a turbine property to filter), the viewer recalculates turbine counts, total rated capacity, number of projects, and then applies automatic updates to the map interface.

Filtering Data

Turbine data can be filtered by total height, rated capacity, or year online. In the example above, a range filter is applied to the turbine features based on total height near Sweetwater, TX. The selected active range in the range filter restricts turbines to those with total heights between 100 meters and 120 meters.

By default, attributes with no-data values for the selected turbine property are excluded from the map when applying a range filter. To include turbines with no-data values, simply uncheck the “Exclude turbines with no data” checkbox. Note that turbine counts and cumulative rated capacity totals are calculated based on non-excluded turbines. In most cases, total counts will change when excluded turbines are toggled on or off.

Data Styling

The USWTDB viewer supports data-driven color styling based on various turbine properties including total height, capacity, and online year. Applying color ramps to turbine features gives the user a snapshot of turbine property values without having to query each turbine directly.

Color Ramps

In the example above, a color ramp based on capacity has been applied to the turbine features near Fort Stockton, TX. Comparing the color ramp legend on the right of the interface to the features in the map view, users can quickly determine that the southern turbines in this area have higher rated capacities.

Animating Through Time

To visualize the progression of turbine installation over time in a particular area, start by clicking the “Year” button at the right side of the interface. A playback icon Play timeline icon next to the “Year” button will become active. Set the years you would like to visualize through time by clicking and dragging the end points of the range filter, or leave the minimum and maximum years in their default positions. Zoom to your area of interest and click the playback icon to start the time animation.

Timeline

The example above shows the progression of turbine development south of the Chicago area from 1991 to present.

Viewing Your Location

The USWTDB Viewer allows you to see the turbines near your current location by clicking on the My location icon icon. If you have geolocation services enabled on your device/browser, you will be zoomed to your current position. Note that the accuracy of the geolocation tool depends on a variety of factors including user hardware (GPS enabled) and network connection. Location accuracy is depicted in the circle around the estimated location. A large radius usually indicates that Viewer is geolocating based on the device's IP address.

If you pan or zoom to another area, you can re-center your location by clicking the My location icon icon again. When your location is no longer centered, the geolocation icon is highlighted yellow. To turn off geolocation simply click the geolocation icon while your location is centered.

Downloading Data

To download the source data, click the Downloads page icon to go to the USWTDB Data & Web Services page, where you can download data in a variety of formats based on your specific needs. The file formats and associated metadata files include:

CSV – The CSV (comma-separated values) format is common non-proprietary format for storing tabular data stored in plain text. The use of the comma as a field separator is the source of the name for this file format. CSV files aren’t necessarily usable in a geographic information system (GIS) unless they contain geographic information (like latitude and longitude values).

Shapefile – The shapefile format is a popular geospatial vector data format compatible with a variety of GIS software. A shapefile stores non-topological geometry and attribute information for the spatial features in a data set. The geometry for a feature is stored as a shape comprising a set of vector coordinates. It is a (mostly) open specification for data interoperability among GIS software products.

GeoJSON – GeoJSON is an open standard format designed for representing simple geographical features, along with their non-spatial attributes. It is based on JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) and plays an important role in many spatial databases, web APIs, and open data platforms.

Sending Us Feedback

Help us improve the USWTDB by telling us how we can better deliver our products or by reporting any problems you have experienced with the site. Have you found any broken links or out-of-date information? Encountered an issue with data downloaded from the site? We want to hear about it, and we read all feedback carefully. The best way to send comments is by emailing us directly. You can send us questions, comments, and suggestions anonymously or with your contact information if you would like a direct response. Please read the U.S. Geological Survey's Privacy Policy before submitting.

Sharing

Click on the Sharing iconicon to open the sharing window. The sharing window lets you send your current viewer window to popular social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. You can also copy the URL string for pasting in a text editor, or for sharing via email or web browser.

Sharing

Resources

The legacy version of the USGS wind project database was updated through 2014 and is incorporated into the USWTDB.

AWEA releases quarterly reports tracking utility-scale U.S. wind turbine installations.

The U.S. Department of Energy publishes several annual Wind Market Reports. These include reports on U.S. utility-scale wind projects—analyzing technology, cost, price, and performance trends along with broader industry developments and policy and market drivers—as well as reports on the offshore wind and distributed wind markets.

Diffendorfer, J.E., Kramer, L.A., Ancona, Z.H., and Garrity, C.P., 2015, Onshore industrial wind turbine locations for the United States up to March 2014, Scientific Data 2: 150060, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2015.60.

Diffendorfer, J.E., Compton, R.W., Kramer, L.A., Ancona, Z.H., and Norton, Donna, 2015, Onshore industrial wind turbine locations for the United States to March 2014: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7251G8Q.

Diffendorfer, J.E., Compton, Roger, Kramer, L.A., Ancona, Zach, and Norton, Donna, 2014, Onshore industrial wind turbine locations for the United States through July 2013: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7X06561.

Federal Aviation Administration, Digital Obstacles File, in Terrain and Obstacles Data (TOD) Team—Digital Obstacles File (DOF): Federal Aviation Administration, https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/digital_products/dof/.

Federal Aviation Administration, Obstruction Evaluation Case Information, Obstruction Evaluation/Airport Airspace Analysis (OE/AAA) team, https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/public/publicAction.jsp?action=showCaseDownloadForm.

U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860 detailed data, in Electricity: U.S. Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia860/.