Wind Energy Resources

Division of Energy fact sheet
Division of Energy Director: Craig Redmon

Wind Energy Resources

Small Wind Energy Systems, Fact Sheet--PUB2313
Net Metering and the Easy Connection Act, Fact Sheet--PUB2238

Final Missouri Wind Maps
Wind Speed Maps

The final wind speed maps show the predicted mean wind speed in Missouri at heights of 30 meters, 50 meters, 70 meters, and 100 meters, respectively, above the effective ground level. As of 2005, typical tower height for the current generation of large utility-scale wind turbines of 750 KW (kilowatt) to 2 MW (megawatt) rated capacity is 70 meters. A typical height for small turbines of up to 50 KW rated capacity is 30 meters, which is consistent with on-farm or residential use.
Wind Speed 30 Meters High Res 3.9 MB Low Res 717 KB
Wind Speed 50 Meters High Res 2.8 MB Low Res 783 KB
Wind Speed 70 Meters High Res 3.2 MB Low Res 726 KB
Wind Speed 100 Meters High Res 3.1 MB Low Res 733 KB

Wind Power Density Maps

The 50-meter wind power density map shows the predicted mean wind power density (amount of wind energy) at 50-meter height in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) standard wind resource classes.The 100-meter wind power density map shows the predicted mean wind power density at 100-meter height. When compared to the 50-meter wind density map, this indicates a substantial increase in wind energy as the distance from the ground increases.

Wind Power Density 50 Meters High Res 2.5 MB Low Res 814 KB
Wind Power Density 100 Meters High Res 2.4 MB Low Res 725 KB

The mean speed and power describe different aspects of the wind resource, and both can be useful in different ways. The mean speed is the easiest for most people to relate to. Some experts regard the mean wind power, which depends on the air density and the cube of the wind speed, as a more accurate indicator of the wind resource when assessing wind project sites.

Generally speaking, utility-scale wind power projects using large turbines that service the electrical grid require an average wind speed of at least 7 meters per second (15.7 miles per hour) or average power of at least 400 Watts per square meter (NREL class 4). Small-scale turbines such as those used by farmers and homeowners are often used in locations with lower average annual wind speeds.

Persons interested in evaluating the financial aspects of an investment in a wind energy project are encouraged to become familiar with one or more of the free wind energy financial calculators available on the web at:

These maps are final work products of AWS Truewind Solutions prepared under contract with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, with financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America.

Validation of the map was conducted by the National Renewable Energy Lab and consulting meteorologists. After reviewing the validation results, NREL recommended moderate adjustments in speed and power to one region of the state. The speed was increased by 5 percent in eastern Missouri in the counties of St. Charles and St. Louis, and the power was increased by about 30 percent. For your convenience we have kept the INTERIM wind maps online.

Note that while it is believed that these maps represent an accurate overall picture of Missouri's wind energy resource, estimates at any location should be confirmed by additional wind measurements taken at the specific site.

Portions of the preceding description were adapted from the final report submitted by AWS Truewind as part of their preparation of these maps. For more information see AWS Truewind's Final Report

30 meter average annual wind speed - County level maps

All of the following counties are predicted to have some areas with an average-annual wind speed (measured at 30 meters, 100 feet above ground level) of 6.0 meters per second (13.4 miles per hour) or greater.

Click below to view a county level version of the 30-meter wind speed map for the listed counties. State and county roads are displayed in red.

Note:* Indicates counties that are predicted to have some areas with average annual wind speeds between 6.5 and 7.0 meters per second (14.5 and 15.7 miles per hour) at 30 meters above ground level.

Counties not included in the list below are predicted to have very little area, or no area, with an average-annual wind speed of 6.0 meters per second (13.4 miles per hour) or greater.








Wind Energy Internet Resources

Wind Energy Basics from Windustry. Windustry is a renewable energy advocacy group whose areas of special focus include: economic development from wind energy; landowner rights, risks, and benefits; and community-based wind energy.

American Wind Energy Association. AWEA is a national trade association representing wind power project developers, equipment suppliers, services providers, parts manufacturers, utilities, researchers, and others involved in the wind industry - one of the world's fastest growing energy industries. Additionally AWEA is an industry clearinghouse for facts and statistics.

Wind Energy Siting Handbook, developed by the AWEA Siting Committee. This handbook has been designed to provide technical information and useful tools based on the industry's collective experience in siting wind energy projects and assessing potential impacts.

Community Wind Financing Handbook, from the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) this report from November 2009 explains the options for structuring and financing community-based wind power projects. (24 pages; 1.29 MB PDF)

Small Wind Electric System Guidebook, Produced for US DOE by NREL. Provides general information (zoning, sizing, basic technologies, cost, interconnection/net-metering, etc.) to folks such as homeowners, ranchers, and small businesses interested in looking at small-sized turbines.

Comprehensive Guide to Studying Wind Energy/Wildlife Interactions, produced by the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative. This resource document of the Wildlife Workgroup is intended as a guide to persons involved in designing, conducting, or requiring wind energy/wildlife interaction studies.(289 pages; 6.0 MB)

Ten Steps to Building a Wind Farm, from the American Wind Energy Association. This 2-page fact sheet provides an overview of wind energy development process, and provides links to related documents.

Status of Wind Industry in North America

2010 Wind Technologies Market Report; June 2011 (U.S. Department of Energy) (98 pages; 4.8 MB pdf)