Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Miller A, Li R. A Geospatial Approach for Prioritizing Wind Farm Development in Northeast Nebraska, USA. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2014; 3(3):968-979.


© 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license


Being cleaner and climate friendly, wind energy has been increasingly utilized to meet the ever-growing global energy demands. In the State of Nebraska, USA, a wide gap exists between wind resource and actual energy production, and it is imperative to expand the wind energy development. Because of the formidable costs associated with wind energy development, the locations for new wind turbines need to be carefully selected to provide the greatest benefit for a given investment. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been widely used to identify the suitable wind farm locations. In this study, a GIS-based multi-criteria approach was developed to identify the areas that are best suited to wind energy development in Northeast Nebraska, USA. Seven criteria were adopted in this method, including distance to roads, closeness to transmission lines, population density, wind potential, land use, distance to cities, slope and exclusionary areas. The suitability of wind farm development was modeled by a weighted overlay of geospatial layers corresponding to these criteria. The results indicate that the model is capable of identifying locations highly suited for wind farm development. The approach could help identify suitable wind farm locations in other areas with a similar geographic background.