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State’s Wind Resources Among Best in Nation

by Jane Nicholson

BOONE–Western North Carolina’s annual wind speeds are in the nation’s top 5 percent, making it one of the United State’s best locations for wind-generated electricity.

The area also has some of the prettiest vistas.

Is it possible for the state to develop an energy plan that embraces wind energy and protects mountaintops?

Appalachian State University professors Dennis Scanlin and Dennis Grady aren’t the decision makers about this issue. But they are collecting the data necessary to provide citizens, lawmakers and others the best objective scientific information that is available. State and federal grants support their work.

“The U.S. Department of Energy and the N.C. Energy Office believe that it is in our nation’s and state’s best interest to explore all the energy options that exist and try to develop a reliable and clean method of producing energy,” said Grady.

Grady, a professor of political science, has completed a public opinion poll regarding wind turbine energy production, and orchestrated a “wind summit” last December in which decisions makers and wind experts from across the state and nation met to discuss the emerging technology’