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Wind Power Workshops Offered Beginning in April

BOONE – The NC Small Wind Initiative (SWI) at Appalachian State University hosts a series of workshops to provide a hands-on opportunity for people to learn the benefits of wind power. The one- and two-day workshops will be held at the SWI Research and Demonstration Site on Beech Mountain.

The Beech Mountain site features six small-scale wind turbine systems with outputs that range from 400 to 20,000 watts. Each of the turbines is an example of a system that can be duplicated for a home, farm or business application.

Dr. Dennis Scanlin and other wind researchers at Appalachian use the workshops to educate the public about a realistic energy alternative to fossil fuels.

” Wind power is growing as a source of electricity around the world today for home power, utility-scale power production, water pumping, village electrification and a supplemental source of rural income,” said Scanlin, a technology professor at Appalachian.

Registration for the workshop series is available online at The SWI’s two-day workshops cost $150 each ($100 for students). The workshops are designed for people of all backgrounds and interest levels. The four workshops are:

“Measuring the Wind and Analyzing the Data”

April 15-16

Co-sponsored by NRG Systems, the workshop teaches a variety of techniques for measuring the wind and determining a site’s wind turbine potential. Participants construct a complete wind measurement system during the second day. Examples of most of the commercially-available data equipment will be discussed and demonstrated.

Throughout the workshop, participants learn about, and receive, a variety of wind maps and the NC Wind Map CD. Participants will also receive two software packages useful for wind assessment work through Appalachian’s Anemometer Loan Program.

“Small Wind Energy with Abundant Renewable Energy Company”

May 21-22

Robert Preus, owner of Abundant Renewable Energy Company, is a renewable energy consultant and licensed mechanical engineer with 20 years of experience in the wind industry.

Preus will provide a detailed look at the operation of his company’s African Wind Power 3.6 turbine. The AWP 3.6 is an example of a turbine suited for low to medium wind speeds, which are found throughout the Southern Appalachians.

“Small Scale Wind Energy with Bergey Windpower Company”

June 25-26

Participants at this workshop will receive an overview of small wind technology, with a specific focus on the Bergey XL1 turbine. Class discussion will also cover tower safety, estimating wind power, and interconnection practices. Hands-on activities will be included.

Bergey Windpower is an award-winning small wind turbine company with more than 30 years experience in the wind industry. Bergey wind turbines are operational in all 50 states and more than 90 countries.

“Southwest Windpower H80 Grid-tie Installation Workshop”

Sept. 17-18

The H80 turbine installation workshop will provide training on Southwest’s newest product line: Whisper H80 Grid-tie System, featuring a turbine that maximizes output at low wind speed averages. Along with the installation of the H80 turbine at the Beech Mountain Site, the workshop offers extensive materials and instruction on tower raising, maintenance and interconnection in urban settings.

There are also one-day tours of the Beech Mountain site, called “Wind in Your Own Backyard.” Each tour lasts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on a Saturday. The dates are June 4, Sept. 10 and Oct. 15. As part of “Wind in Your Own Backyard,” participants will learn about the characteristics of an effective wind site, how to measure wind resources and the different types of wind turbines.

The introductory tours are led by faculty and staff from Appalachian’s Appropriate Technology program and the SWI. The Appropriate Technology Program has more than 20 years of experience in designing, constructing and testing renewable energy technologies. The cost of the one-day program is $50 ($30 for students).

Wind power has benefits beyond providing electricity. The Appalachian Regional Development Institute (ARDI) and the Appalachian Energy Center conduct research to measure the economic benefits of wind power.

ARDI uses university resources to help regional development causes, with an emphasis on the economic development opportunities and problems of Western North Carolina.

“In addition to being a non-polluting and renewable source of energy, wind power can create new jobs, industry and sustainable economic development,” said Cole McVey of ARDI.

“With the excellent wind resources we have in the southern Appalachians, electricity can be produced for as little as 3 cents per kilowatt hour,” Scanlin said. “Wind turbines have very low operating costs, are impervious to fuel hikes and can help us reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels. The use of wind energy will help us develop a cleaner, more sustainable world for our children and generations to come,” Scanlin said.

For more information about ARDI’s projects, visit

For educational resources related to wind power, visit the SWI Web site at The site contains wind maps, product information, photos, videos, research reports and links to other wind organizations. For more information about wind power or about the workshops series, contact the SWI at (828)262-7333 or