Small Wind Research and Demonstration Site

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. Operating as an off-campus research facility of Appstate’s Sustainable Technology & the Build Environment department, students and faculty gain experience in wind turbine and tower technology, maintenance and operation of wind turbines, and data collection and analysis. Appstate also uses the site for wind energy education and hosts numerous training workshops. 

Beech Mountain

The Beech Mountain site started in 2004 with funds from the NC State Energy Office and the US Department of Energy Wind Powering America program. Through the years our students and faculty have been able to conduct real-world testing and research through industry partnerships with wind energy companies including 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.

Thanks to the Appalachian Energy Center for supporting this mission and helping to keep it going and growing. Also, thanks to the National Renewable Energy Lab’s Wind for Schools <link to: > program for their support.

Energy Center and WFS Header


Beech Mountain Wind Research and Demonstration Center

The turbines currently in operation at the site include:

Class at Beech Mountain

Map and Directions to the North Carolina Small Wind Site

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 the stop light, travel approximately .4 miles and bear right onto Beech Mountain Parkway (HWY 184).
  • Continue on Beech Mountain Parkway approx 5 miles until you see the White Wolf Lodge
  • 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. (look for signs)

map to the research and development site