On November 14th, the Virginia Tech Wind Turbine Team (VT WTT) visited the Beech Ridge Energy Park in Greenbriar County, West Virginia. The Beech Ridge Energy Park is a 100 MW wind farm owned and operated by Envision Energy. The team met the on-site manager, asked technicians about turbine maintenance, and got to see 67 General Electric 1.5 MW turbines situated along a mountain ridgeline.
The VT WTT is a team of undergraduate students (engineering, science, and business majors) who design, build, test, and market small-scale wind turbines. The team is preparing for the 2018 Collegiate Wind Competition, hosted by the Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at AWEA WindPower (May 2018, Chicago, IL). This competition includes a siting challenge, where students need to site a wind farm within 100 miles of Virginia Tech. On this trip, the team gained practical insight into wind farm siting, permitting, and layout; all of this information will be helpful as the team prepares for the siting element of the competition.