Siting Wind Energy Right
As demand for renewable energy in the United States increases while costs drop, opportunities to develop wind and solar power are growing. The Great Plains region stands to become the country’s wind powerhouse, while tapping into the sun’s power can be accomplished across the country.
But not every acre of land is a good fit for renewables. So in 2019 The Nature Conservancy created new interactive maps to help states and big power purchasers identify sites for future renewable energy projects, while also protecting nature.
Building off more than 60 years of conservation science and planning expertise, TNC’s interactive Site Wind Right map shows where the development of low-impact wind energy can be accelerated across the central U.S. This award-winning mapping shows that states, communities and companies can develop wind power while still protecting flyways for migratory birds and prairies for pronghorn antelope, burrowing owls and prairie chickens.
Further west, to help California meet its ambitious 100% clean energy goal, the Conservancy’s Power of Place study shows how 11 western states can share affordable renewable power while still protecting habitat and prime agricultural lands. A state agency task force is already using the study to plug into renewable energy on the ground.
By factoring in nature from the outset of energy planning, TNC is proving there’s a clear pathway to clean, affordable, low-impact energy for people and nature.