The first new Nebraska wind speed maps in more than a decade are now available online. These MesoMap system-based maps are created from an integrated set of atmospheric simulation models, databases and computer and storage systems.
The wind maps indicated that the flat, open areas of the Great Plains throughout the eastern and central portion of the state experience the highest wind speeds. The mean wind speed at a height of 50 meters in most parts of this region is anticipated to be 7.5 to 8.0 meters a second, and the predicted mean wind power density is between Class 3 and 4 according to National Renewable Energy Laboratory standards. However, there are pockets of higher wind speeds through the state in relatively open, elevated areas. In these areas the predicted wind speed ranges from 8.0 to 8.5 meters/second, or a Class 5 wind speed. The river valleys along the Platte, Elkhorn, Republican and Missouri Rivers are predicted to have the lowest wind resources in the state, with annual mean speeds ranging from 6.0 to 7.0 meters a second, or Class 2 wind speed. The rest of the state, including most of the Sandhills in the northwest, has predicted mean wind speeds of 7.0 to 7.5 meters a second and wind power density of Class 3.
To explore the full detail of the new wind maps, users will need to install ArcReader software. The Viewer User Guide provides instructions about using the software and maps with details about the map layers and toolbar functions including zoom capabilities.
The five new wind maps may be viewed in PDF format at: