NREL GIS Data: Wave Energy Assessment for the United States and Puerto Rico

Dataset Summary


The Wave Energy Resource Assessment project is a joint venture between NREL, EPRI, and Virginia Tech. EPRI is the prime contractor, Virginia Tech is responsible for development of the models and estimating the wave resource, and NREL serves as an independent validator and also develops the final GIS-based display of the data.

Geographic Range US coastline, including AK, HI and Puerto Rico, out to 50 nautical miles.

Grid Properties
Grids are derived from WaveWatch III grids. Near the coast of the lower 48 and HI, grids are squares, 4 minutes by 4 minutes (15 per degree).
For the Alaska grids AK and BS, the grid is 4 minutes of latitude by 8 minutes of longitude (15 per deg by 7.5 per deg).
EXCEPT: The area in the Bering Sea around the Pribilof (St Paul and St George) Islands is 10 min lat by 15 min lon. Limits: 55.666 to 58.000 N, -172.000 to - 168.000 E, 17 cols, 15 rows
Farther offshore, the grid is 10 min by 10 min. (only seen in WM and PR)The 10 min by 10 min grid appears near the edge of a few grids: - SW corner of WM (off Mexican coast) - SE corner of WM (deep water) - PR - around edges (far from PR and US territory)

Bathymetric Impacts on Resource Assessment
Bathymetric effects are known to have a large effect on wave characteristics at depths shallower than approximately 20m (~65 ft) on the Atlantic coast and 50 m (~160 ft) on the Pacific coast. A variance between depths exists due to the feature differences for each continental shelf. The methodology used in this resource assessment precludes providing site-specific information to such developers. Reliable site-specific information in shallow waters can only be produced using results from models with higher spatial resolution that include shallow-water physics. The wave resource assessment group acknowledges that its results will not be accurate in the shallower waters of the inner continental shelf. These shallow water regions are located within the dark gray boundaries on the map.

Data that are undefined or unrepresentable are indicated by NaN values in the CSV and as a -9999 value in the shapefile tables.

Access the full technical report here: Mapping and Assessment of the United States Ocean Wave Energy Resource

Source National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Date Released September 27th, 2011 (3 years ago)
Date Updated October 20th, 2011 (3 years ago)

Quality Metrics

Level of Review Some Review

Temporal and Spatial Coverage

Time Period 2009 - 2011


License Other or unspecified, see optional comment below
Comment Please site Virginia Tech for data and modelling Please site NREL for GIS files DISCLAIMER NOTICE This GIS data was developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory ("NREL"), which is operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE"). The user is granted the right, without any fee or cost, to use, copy, modify, alter, enhance and distribute this data for any purpose whatsoever, provided that this entire notice appears in all copies of the data. Further, the user of this data agrees to credit NREL in any publications or software that incorporate or use the data. Access to and use of the GIS data shall further impose the following obligations on the User. The names DOE/NREL may not be used in any advertising or publicity to endorse or promote any product or commercial entity using or incorporating the GIS data unless specific written authorization is obtained from DOE/NREL. The User also understands that DOE/NREL shall not be obligated to provide updates, support, consulting, training or assistance of any kind whatsoever with regard to the use of the GIS data. THE GIS DATA IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL DOE/NREL BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO CLAIMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE LOSS OF DATA OR PROFITS, WHICH MAY RESULT FROM AN ACTION IN CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS CLAIM THAT ARISES OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE ACCESS OR USE OF THE GIS DATA. The User acknowledges that access to the GIS data is subject to U.S. Export laws and regulations and any use or transfer of the GIS data must be authorized under those regulations. The User shall not use, distribute, transfer, or transmit GIS data or any products incorporating the GIS data except in compliance with U.S. export regulations. If requested by DOE/NREL, the User agrees to sign written assurances and other export-related documentation as may be required to comply with U.S. export regulations.
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