Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about Energy Zones Mapping Tool and the EISPC Energy Zones Study. Click a question below to see the answer.

What is the Energy Zones Mapping Tool?

The Energy Zones Mapping Tool is an interactive web-based decision support system that allows users to locate areas with high suitability for clean power generation, and potential energy transmission corridors, in the U.S. portion of the Eastern Interconnection. There are many other capabilities that augment and extend these functions. The Energy Zones Mapping Tool includes 9 clean (low- or no-carbon) energy resource categories and 29 types of clean energy technologies. The tool includes:


What was the EISPC Energy Zones Study and who was involved?

The main purpose of the EISPC Energy Zones Study, which was completed in September 2013, was to develop a methodology and a web-based mapping tool (Energy Zones Mapping Tool) with data and tools to identify areas within the Eastern Interconnection (EI) conducive for developing clean energy resources within 9 major clean energy resource categories. The work was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. The study was led by the Eastern Interconnection States' Planning Council while technical support was provided by Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

For more on this topic, see the About the Project and About Us pages. Also, see the Documents page for the Energy Zones Study final report, Energy Zones Study - A Comprehensive Web-Based Mapping Tool to Identify and Analyze Clean Energy Zones in the Eastern Interconnection.


What has happened since the Study was completed?

Since the EISPC Energy Zones Study was completed in September 2013, the Department of Energy has funded Argonne to continue hosting ot the Energy Zones Mapping Tool, and to make some enhancements. Activities include:


How current is the database, and will it be maintained?

Each layer in the mapping database is tracked with a publication date for the original source (if available), and the date it was last updated in the system. These dates can be seen either on the Data page on the web site, or within the tool by finding the layer in the Mapping Library. Click the plus icon to the left of the layer to view the abstract and the dates. Layers will be updated regularly, prioritized based on their importance to the tool the availability of updated source information, and feedback from the user community. Many layers in the Map Layer Catalog and Model Layer Catalog are used in model inputs and reports, and they will also be updated. We welcome feedback about updated versions of existing layers, and new layers that could be added.


How can I obtain copies of the data used in the web application?

With the exception of a few proprietary data layers, all data in the Mapping Library can be downloaded within the tool by using the Download action in the Map Layer Catalog of the Mapping Library. Click on the download icon to the left of the layer to download the data. Documentation about the sources is provided in the metadata for each layer, either through the Data page, or the metadata link in the tool. Since most of the GIS layers are also available for download from the original sources, we recommend that you consult the metadata and check the original sources for updates or more information. Please contact us to obtain GIS files for your modeling results, analysis areas, or corridors.


How do I report a problem with this site, or make a suggestion for an improvement?

We welcome your feedback. Please contact [email protected].


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