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ASU Energy Center hosts wind workshop

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Jun. 6, 2013 | Modified: Jun. 9, 2013
ASU Energy Center hosts wind workshop

Appalachian State University’s wind turbine is located near the former Broyhill Events Center. The ASU Energy Center will host a distributed wind energy workshop June 8.

Photo by Frank Ruggiero

The field of renewable energies is on the rise.

You don’t have to look much further than the wind turbine at Appalachian State University for more local evidence.

From wind turbines and solar panels to other innovative techniques to reduce our environmental impact on the planet, going green has become more than just a trend and has now found a place in major industry.

Every year, the Appalachian Energy Center holds a series of energy workshops to supplement training and knowledge to local professionals in the rising field.

“We are just trying to take the expertise of the university and share it with the community and teach people,” said Janet Miller, workshop coordinator for AEC. “We want to use what the university has to offer and share it other licensed professionals.”

As renewable energy has become an established field in academia and industry, the importance of building efficiency has also played into the field of sustainable development.

The energy center’s schedule of workshops typically runs from April to October, Miller said.

These workshops cover several sectors of sustainable development, including electrician work, building, heating and cooling and design.

On Saturday, June 8, the AEC will hold a special workshop on distributed wind energy.

Participants of the workshop will learn more about choosing a good site for a distributed wind project, examples of successful projects, opportunities for distributed wind in the region and how to choose a suitable turbine, according to the center’s website.

Miller said attendees would also visit the university’s wind turbine to add visualization to what they learn during the workshop.

The cost of the workshop is $200, and lunch is included. Appalachian State University students will be admitted at a discounted price of $160. All attendees should meet at the center, located at 130 Polar Grove Connector.

Along with aspiring energy professionals in the expanding field, the workshops are a good opportunity for established tradesmen to hone old skills while learning new ones.

“One of the big things about the series is there are kinds of continued educational credits,” Miller said. “Like architects … if they come, they can earn five learning unit credits. If they want to learn something different, they can come and get credit (for that), too.”

Brent Summerville, a licensed engineer with a degree in mechanical engineering from N.C. State University, will lead the workshop.

He gained experience with small wind turbines, while serving as the manager of the ASU Small Wind Research & Demonstration Site at Beech Mountain. Summerville now serves as the technical director of the Small Wind Certification Council and is the President of Summerville Wind & Sun Inc.

Other renewable energy workshops on the center’s horizon include a 2012 N.C. Energy Code Training Course June 21, Understanding Electricity Rates to Maximize Energy Savings June 27 and Green Guidelines and Certifications for Homes July 12.

Anyone interested in attending the workshops should contact Miller at (828) 262-8913. For more information on the Appalachian Energy Center, visit

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