Wind Resources

Wind Industry Resources:

Tradewind Energy’s mission is to continually advance the transformation of our nation’s electricity infrastructure. A full transition to sustainable and affordable electricity is our shared future–all that remains is how we get there. We want our business partners, energy consumers and local citizens to understand everything they can about wind energy. If you’re interested in learning more about the wind power generation, we suggest getting started with the following resources.

American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)

American Wind Wildlife Institute – Proud AWWI Friend

Interesting reads:

“Green Power Superhighways: Building a Path to America’s Clean Energy Future”

A joint publication of the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association

AWEA: Into the Wind Blog

Natural Resources Defense Council

Summary of Wind-Wildlife Interactions

Wind-Wildlife Impacts Literature Database


Wind Energy Maps

The United States possesses enormous wind power potential.  In the Heartland, the opportunities are particularly impressive.  Contact Tradewind today for more information about the viability of developing the wind in your state.

Over the past decade, wind power technology has improved dramatically.  Today, it takes fewer turbines to produce more energy.  Turbines are also more reliable, making wind-generated electricity an increasingly important part of our nation’s energy mix.  At Tradewind Energy, we have access to the best equipment, the most experienced professionals and the strongest financial partners.

  • Cost-Effective: Wind power is not only cost-competitive with conventional electric generation; it eliminates fuel and transportation cost risks over the long term.
  • Reliable: Today’s wind turbines demonstrate high availability levels and provide reliable energy even during peak summer demand seasons.
  • Renewable: The abundant wind throughout the central US ensures sustainable, low-cost energy that will never deplete in the face of our nation’s growing energy needs.
  • Clean: Wind power produces absolutely zero emissions, making it an important hedge against anticipated taxes or caps on carbon and other pollutants.
  • Locally Beneficial: Wind power projects contribute to the economic revitalization of rural communities and can help preserve farms, ranches and prairies.



How is energy measured?

The ability to generate electricity is measured in watts. Watts are very small units, so the terms kilowatt (kW = 1,000 watts), megawatt (MW = 1 million watts), and gigawatt (GW = 1 billion watts) are most commonly used.Electricity production and consumption are most commonly measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A kilowatt-hour refers to one kilowatt (1,000 watts) of electricity produced or consumed for one hour. One 50-watt light bulb left on for 20 hours consumes one kilowatt-hour of electricity (50 watts x 20 hours = 1,000 watt-hours = 1 kWh).


How many homes can one megawatt of wind energy supply?

An average U.S. household uses about 10,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each year. A one-megawatt wind turbine can generate between 2.4 million and 4 million kWh annually, depending on the average wind speed at the site. Therefore, a single one-megawatt wind turbine generates enough electricity to power 240 to 400 households.


How much electricity can one wind turbine generate?

The output of a wind turbine depends on the turbine’s size and the wind’s speed. Utility-scale wind turbines being manufactured now for the U.S. market have power ratings that range from 1.5 megawatts to 3.0 megawatts.Example: A 150 MW wind project using 100 1.5 MW wind turbines can generate as much as 600,000,000 kWh annually at a good site, or enough to power 50,000 typical U.S. households.


How much energy can wind realistically supply to the U.S.?

According to a January 2015 report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the U.S. could get nearly 50% of its generation from renewable sources by 2030 with existing technologies and the right policies and investments. Reaching the 50% threshold for power generation would raise the renewable share of the overall U.S. energy mix from 7.5% in 2010 to 27% by 2030.


A recent study for the Minnesota Department of Commerce by GE Energy Consulting in consultation with MISO found that “the addition of wind and solar (variable renewable) generation to supply 40% of Minnesota’s annual electric retail sales can be reliably accommodated by the electric power system.”


A recent study for PJM Interconnection, LLC by General Electric International, Inc. found that “the PJM system, with equate transmission expansion and additional regulating reserves, will not have any significant issues operating with up to 30% of its energy provided by wind and solar generation.”


Actual, real-world experience indicates that wind energy could potentially supply even more of the U.S. total demand than studies suggest.  On May 23, 2014, Xcel Energy’s Colorado wind farms generated 1,966 NW, 60.5% of Xcel’s total load in the state of Colorado (3,100 MW).  On May 7, 2014, Xcel Energy’s Minnesota wind farms generated 1,622 NW, 46% of Xcel’s total load in the state of Minnesota (3,512 MW).  The ERCOT, SPP, and MISO ISO systems have already successfully balanced wind at penetration levels of 39.7% (11,835 MW in ERCOT), 33% (7,625 MW in SPP), and 25% (11,835 MW in MISO), respectively.  Several European nations, such as Denmark and Portugal, have experienced levels of penetration in the 70% range without problems.  All of this data suggests that there is a huge amount of room for growth of wind (and solar) resources across the U.S.

Regional wind records.1.22.2015

Within the limits of the tools used and scenarios assessed, hourly simulation analysis indicates that estimated U.S. electricity demand in 2050 could be met with 80% of generation from renewable energy technologies with varying degrees of dispatchability together with a mix of flexible conventional generation and grid storage, additions of transmission, more responsive loads, and foreseeable changes in power system operations.


How much land is needed for a utility-scale wind plant?

In open, flat terrain, a utility-scale wind plant will require about 50 acres per megawatt of installed capacity. However, only about 1-2% of this area is actually occupied by turbines, access roads and other equipment. The rest remains free for other compatible uses such as farming or ranching.


In what other ways does wind energy benefit the economy?

Wind farms can revitalize the economy of rural communities, providing steady income through lease or royalty payments to farmers and other landowners, payments to counties in the form of taxes or voluntary contributions, local jobs and spending during construction, and ongoing jobs and local spending throughout project operations.


What are America’s current sources of electricity?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Association, in 2013, the United States generated about 4,058 billion kilowatthours of electricity. About 67% of the electricity generated was from fossil fuel (coal, natural gas, and petroleum), with 39% attributed from coal.In 2013, energy sources and percent share of total electricity generation were:

  • Coal 39%
  • Natural Gas 27%
  • Nuclear 19%
  • Hydropower 7%
  • Other Renewable 6%
    • Biomass 1.48%
    • Geothermal 0.41%
    • Solar 0.23%
    • Wind 4.13%
  • Petroleum 1%
  • Other Gases < 1%


What are the environmental benefits of wind power?

Wind energy system operations do not generate air or water emissions and do not produce hazardous waste. They do not deplete natural resources for fuel such as coal, oil or gas, or cause environmental damage through extraction and transport. Wind’s pollution-free electricity avoids the environmental impacts associated with conventional electric power generation in the U.S. and worldwide.