Thursday, May 06, 2010
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation 304-746-1964

Marshall University to conduct wind analysis on surface-mined lands  

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University’s Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences (CEGAS) and the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall are partnering with the West Virginia Division of Energy (WVDOE) Office of Coalfield Community Development to perform research and provide project administration for wind analysis on surface-mined properties in West Virginia.

Scientists at CEGAS, with assistance from the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research, will be performing wind analysis at selected surface-mined lands to evaluate wind resources for energy development. Funding for the project is being provided by the WVDOE and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Dr. Tony Szwilski, director of CEGAS, said the goal of the project is to encourage the reuse of West Virginia’s surface-mined lands through the direct development of renewable energy projects.

“West Virginia has a mandate to significantly increase the production of renewable energy in the state,” he said. “With this project, Marshall University is taking a leading role in assessing wind resource potential on surface-mined lands.”

For the analysis, CEGAS will use state-of-the-art Sonic Detection and Ranging (SODAR) equipment. SODAR performs wind profiling up to approximately 200 meters above the earth’s surface, recording wind speed, wind direction, wind sheer and wind veer. The SODAR unit CEGAS will use is a self-contained system that uses solar and battery power to operate, and applies satellite data transmission and telemetry for quick, 24/7 data retrieval and review.

The CEGAS researchers will be comparing wind data from the SODAR to existing datasets and industry requirements. The results will be useful in determining future alternative energy development across West Virginia.

Results will be made available on the websites of the West Virginia Division of Energy ( and the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197