Wind turbine technology has advanced significantly in the past five years. With longer blades and taller towers, wind energy can now be generated throughout the South. However, outdated maps regarding wind energy resource potential continue to be used by some anti-wind energy activists to argue that wind energy cannot be generated within the region. A new free toolkit, made available by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), helps eliminate some of the confusion regarding wind energy viability in the South.
The Wind Integration National Dataset (WIND) Toolkit provides data on 144,000 data points all across the country in an interactive map. Each datapoint provides 10-minute weather data from 2007-2012, and then extrapolates wind speeds into wind power output based on modern turbines.