At an elevation of 5,500 ft, the Beech Mountain Small Wind Research and Demonstration Site is a unique program to give first-hand experience with wind power technology in a world-class, class 5 wind resource. Beech Mountain is the premier site in the US for research, durability testing and demonstration of small wind turbine technology. This off-campus research facility is managed by Appalachain's Department of Sustainable Technology & the Built Environment and supported by the Appalachian Energy Center. Students and faculty gain experience in wind turbine and tower technology, maintenance and operation of wind turbines, and data collection and analysis. Appalachian also uses the site for wind energy education activities and hosts workshops at the facility.
The Beech Mountain site started in 2004 with funds from the NC State Energy Office and the US Department of Energy's Wind Powering America program. Through the years, our students and faculty have been able to conduct real-world testing and research through wind industry partnerships with companies such as Bergey Windpower, (legacy) Southwest Windpower, Primus Windpower, Pika Energy, APRS World, (legacy) Abundant Renewable Energy, (legacy) African Windpower, Otherpower, Power One (now ABB), Scoraig Wind Electric, Jacobs Wind Electric, Outback Power, Midnite Solar and Xzeres Wind.
Turbines Operating at Site:
- Pika T701, 86' tilt-up: Data Monitoring
- Sonsight Wind, 45' monopole
- Primus Windpower Air Silent 30, 40’ tilt-up
- Southwest Windpower Whisper 100, 80' tilt-up
- 8-foot Hugh Piggott homebuilt, 65' tilt-up
- Xzeres Skystream, 70' tilt-up. Wind for Schools Monitoring
- APRS World WT10, 65' tilt-up