Visual Guide to Energy in the U.S.
June 23rd, 2009 By: Rich Miller
Which states offer the highest mix of renewable energy from their utilities? This is an issue of growing importance in data center site selection. NPR has created a tool offering a visual guide to renewable energy in the United States, allowing you to quickly scan which states offer the most abundant supply of hydroelectric power or wind generation. Visualizing the Grid provides five overlays of a map of the U.S., showing high-power transmission lines, the location and capacity of power plants, a state-by-state breakdown of the sources of power, and the best locations for solar power and wind power.
The “Sources of Power” map allows you to select a power source – coal, nuclear, gas, hydro or oil – and provides a color-coded heat map for each source. This allows you to quickly filter out hydroelectric power and learn that Idaho generates 79 percent of its power from hydro, followed by Washington State (71 percent) and Oregon (62 percent). If you’re contemplating data center site selection and haven’t already done this type of research, you’ll definitely find Visualizing the Grid useful.