Small Wind Energy Hands-on Workshop

Jun 03 2016 - Jun 04 2016


Please join us at Appalachian State’s Small Wind Research and Demonstration Site, located on Beech Mountain, for this two-day, hands-on workshop on small-scale, distributed wind energy. Participants will learn about the typical costs, economics and maintenance involved with a distributed wind energy project, learn about a variety of distributed wind energy technologies, and successful case studies. There will be both classroom and "hands-on" activities for workshop attendees. The outdoor activities will include a tour of the class 5 small wind research site, the raising and lowering of a small wind turbine, and the inspection of the electrical components and wiring of the small wind electric systems at the site.

The Small Wind Research facility is a class 5 wind-site, located at an elevation of 5,136 ft., with an average wind speed of about 18 mph at 164 ft., and an average annual power density of almost 600 watts per square meter. This makes it an outstanding wind site and focal point for educational, hands-on workshops. The site provides attendees with first-hand experience with wind power technology. We typically host about 7 wind turbines at the site from manufacturers such as Pika Energy, Primus Windpower, Bergey Windpower, Xzeres Wind as well as homebuilt machines from Hugh Piggott and Otherpower plans. 

Early Registration Cost: $400* (lunch included)
*Cost after May 13th: $500
Students in UNC System Early Registration Cost: $350**
**Student Cost after May 13th: $400

Location (updated!): Beech Mountain Small Wind Research and Demonstration Site. Classroom time and registration check-in will meet at the Beech Mountain Town Hall Conference room, 403 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, 28604 between 8:30-9:00am on Friday, June 3. Note: Much of the time will be spent outside at the research site, wear walking shoes, comfortable clothes, and bring sunscreen and raincoat. See map and directions below for the research site.
Time: 9:00am - 4:00pm both days

Continuing Education Credits Offered: 12 AIA LU, 12 PDH
All attendees will receive a Certificate of Completion

Special Note: We are excited to announce that this workshop is offered in partnership with the NC Clean Energy Technology Center and is a part of their Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series. Visit for more information. NC Clean Energy Technology Center


Brent Summerville

Brent Summerville

Brent Summerville, P.E. is a professional engineer and holds a master’s in Appropriate Technology, with a focus on renewable energy. He is currently the Practitioner-in-Residence at Appalachian State University’s Department of Technology and the Built Environment. He is also the Research Director for the Small Wind Certification Council. Prior to that, he directed the Western North Carolina Renewable Energy Initiative at his post in the Appropriate Technology department at Appalachian State University.

Summerville is shown repairing the Whisper 500 on Beech Mountain


 Accomodation Recommendations:

  • Best Western Mountain Lodge in Banner Elk - Rates: Thursday (6/2) $79.99, Friday (6/3) $149.99. Can cancel with no cancellation charge, call to make reservation and for details. AAA rate is 10% off.
  • The Pinnacle Inn Resort at Beech Mountain - Rates: Thursday and Friday for ski suite=$228.32 or 1 bedroom=$248.62 This rate is 10% off regular rates, mention ASU Wind Workshop for this rate. Note: there is a $50 cancellation fee, call hotel for details.
  • Top of the Beech Inn at Beech Mountain - Rates: Thursday (6/2) 1 queen $79 or standard $94, Friday (6/3) 1 queen $99 or standard $109. This is a special rate, mention ASU Wind Workshop when booking. May cancel up to 4 days before with a $25 cancellation fee.
  • Many hotels are also available in Boone, a 30 minute drive to Beech Mountain. Click here for more information.

Map & Directions


From Eastern NC:

  • Take 40 West to 421 North (to Boone)

From Boone:

  • Take 105 South (to Seven Devils) 12 miles
  • Turn right onto 184 West/Tynecastle Hwy (into Banner Elk)
  • In Banner Elk, turn left at stop light, and follow sign toward Beech Mountain, on right (Hwy 184)
  • Continue on Beech Mountain Parkway approx. 5 miles until you see a large building with a blue roof on your left, Beech Mountain Sports
  • Once you get to Beech Mountain Sports, turn RIGHT onto Elderberry Ridge Rd. (you will see signs for Pinnacle Inn)
  • Approx. 0.2 miles, you will bear left at the Pinnacle sign
  • Approx. 0.2 miles further, the road will take a sharp left, but you will continue straight on a dirt driveway, which will bring you into the parking area for the Wind Research and Demonstration Site (there will be signs)

Energy Center Workshop Series

Energy Center News


Dr. Jeff Ramsdell, Director
828-262-7514 (Appalachian Energy Center)
828-262-6553 (fax)

401 Academy Street
226 IG Greer Hall
ASU Box 32131
Boone, NC 28608


Workshops Contact

Janet Miller
Workshop Coordinator
Appalachian Energy Center
Appalachian State University

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