Green Mountain Power is now using geographic information system (GIS) technology from ESRI to identify areas of the state most suitable for wind and solar power generation.
‘In looking for a way to identify renewable energy resources throughout the state, we realized we could track them with GIS,’ says Mike Burke, distribution engineering lead for Green Mountain Power. ‘Using GIS mapping tools, we located and color-coded the resources, or green areas. On top of that, we built a modeling system that considers criteria such as proximity to transmission lines, the slope of the land and environmental factors such as wetlands or bear habitat.’
The renewable energy maps and models were created using ESRI's ArcGIS Spatial Analyst, an extension of ESRI's core software, ArcGIS Desktop. ArcGIS Spatial Analyst enables users to build elevation models, perform analysis of land use and spatial relationships, and bring in outside data that is related to wind energy and restricted areas.