The use of wind energy is growing around the world, and its growth is set to continue into the foreseeable future. Estimates of the wind speed and power are helpful to assess the potential of new sites for development and to facilitate electric grid integration studies. In the present paper, wind speed and power resource mapping analyses are performed. These resource mappings are produced on a 13 km, hourly model grid over the entire continental USA for the years of 2006–2014. The effects of the rotor equivalent wind speed (REWS) along with directional shear are investigated. The total dataset (wind speed and power) contains ?152,000 model grid points, with each location containing ?78,000 hourly time steps. The resource mapping and dataset are created from analysis fields, which are output from an advanced weather assimilation model. Two different methods were used to estimate the wind speed over the rotor swept area (with rotor diameter of 100 m). First, using a single wind speed at hub height (80 m) and, second, the REWS with directional shear. The demonstration study shows that in most locations the incorporation of the REWS reduces the average available wind power. In addition, the REWS technique estimates more wind power production at night and less production in the day compared with the hub height technique; potentially critical for siting new wind turbines and plants. However, the wind power estimate differences are dependent on seasonality, diurnal cycle and geographic location. More research is warranted into these effects to determine the level at which these features are observed at actual wind plants.© 2015 The Authors. Wind Energy published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.