Marshall University to conduct wind analysis on surface-mined lands

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Photo of SODAR equipment at Marshall UniversityHUNTINGTON, 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.


Photo caption:  Jamie Wolfe with Marshall University’s Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences takes a look at the Sonic Detection and Ranging (SODAR) equipment that will be used to conduct wind analysis on surface-mined lands. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.


Contact:  Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304.746.1964


Related:  Marshall to conduct wind analysis study on surface mines [WV Public Broadcasting, May 17, 2010] – audio available