James Madison University

About Us

The Virginia Center for Wind Energy (VCWE) at JMU provides wind related services to local governments, state agencies, landowners, academia, non-governmental organizations, and businesses. These services include wind resource measurements, economic modeling, education & outreach, energy policy analysis, assessment of technical specifications, Geographic Information Systems analysis, and the strategic deployment of wind power within the Commonwealth and beyond.

VCWE - Virginia Center for Wind Energy Programs

  1. SBALP - State-Based Anemometer Loan Program
  2. VWEC - Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative
  3. WfS - Wind for Schools
  4. SWTTF - Small Wind Training and Testing Facility


Presently the Virginia Center for Wind Energy (VCWE) serves as the administrative base from which a range of wind power-related activities and efforts funded by the federal government, the Commonwealth, and/or other sources, are coordinated.
The VCWE supports the efforts of the Virginia State-Based Anemometer Loan program (SBALP) established in 2002 and The Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative (VWEC) formed in 2003.In addition, the VCWE supports the national Wind for Schools program that Virginia joined in 2010, the Virginia Wind Power Rebate program established in 2010 as distinguished by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), and the Small Wind Training and Testing Facility (SWTTF) that was unveiled during the June 2012 Statewide Wind Energy Symposium at James Madison University.

The VCWE recognizes the mandates expressed by our federal and state policy-makers to assess and leverage the generous wind resource that extends throughout Virginia and offshore, as well as continuing to respond to the priorities set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as Virginia is recognized by DOE as one of only 13 high priority states for wind development.

The VCWE is supported by faculty from several state institutions of higher education and is staffed by experienced and dedicated professionals and interns.

Our Team

The Virginia Center for Wind Energy at JMU represents a collective of researchers from all over the Commonwealth of Virginia and its mission is to facilitate research, development and outreach in wind energy throughout the Commonwealth.  See below to meet and learn about the core individuals here at JMU.  Also see our intern page to find out how students are helping with our research.

Jonathan Miles

Dr. Jonathan Miles, Director
Dr. Jonathan Miles is a Professor of Integrated Science and Technology and Director of the Virginia Center for Wind Energy at James Madison University.  His background is in physics and mechanical engineering and he teaches a range of courses at all levels involving the applied sciences along with engineering and energy. Dr. Miles has been involved with wind energy since 1998.

Remy Luerssen

Remy Pangle, Associate Director and Curriculum Coordinator
Remy is the Director of Education and Outreach and State Facilitator for the Wind for Schools (WfS) program in Virginia. She works mainly with educators and school administrators to bring meaningful wind (and all alternative) energy education into the classroom. She also has an interest in offshore wind and other sources of ocean renewable energy.

Kenny Howell

Kenny Howell, Facilities and Logistics Coordinator
Kenny serves as the Facilities and Logistics Coordinator for the Virginia Center for Wind Energy (VCWE). He works to organize and manage VCWE equipment and supplies used for the Virginia State-Based Anemometer Loan Program (SBALP), the Virginia Wind for Schools program (WfS), and the Small Wind Training and Testing Facility at James Madison University (JMU). He also coordinates the installation strategies used for meteorological towers installed at SBALP and WfS project sites. Kenny graduated from James Madison University in 2009 with a degree in Integrated Science and Technology concentrating in Energy and Environmental Science. He has worked with the VCWE since 2008.

Taylor Moellers

Taylor Moellers, Project Facilitator and Education Coordinator
Taylor is the Project Facilitator and Education Coordinator at the Virginia Center for Wind Energy.  She responds to all inquiries and serves as the first point of contact for the Wind for Schools (WfS) program and the State-Based Anemometer Loan Program (SBALP).  She works alongside the Curriculum Coordinator to host classroom and museum visits to introduce K12 students to wind energy.  Taylor graduated with honors from James Madison University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Science and Technology concentrating in Energy and Biotechnology.

Cindi Smead

Cindi Smead, Administrative Assistant
Cindi serves as the Virginia Center for Wind Energy’s Administrative Assistant, specializing in office management, budget reconciliation, and travel and event planning. She is a JMU Alumnus with a degree in Fine Art and concentration in Graphic Design. For the past 18 years she has combined her love of art and business in a local fine art stained glass studio, specializing in the production and sales of stained glass art at art shows up and down the east coast. In 2007, she began working at JMU and has completed JMU’s Administrative Assistant Certification Program.

Deanna Zimmerman

Deanna Zimmerman, Outreach Coordinator
Deanna serves as the outreach coordinator for the Virginia Center for Wind Energy. She supports efforts by educating the public about wind energy, working with county and local officials, and collaborating with the Virginia WWG to address barriers to wind energy development in the Commonwealth. She graduated from Clarion University of PA with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geoscience and a minor in GIS. Deanna completed a Master of Science in Sustainable Environment Resource Management/Integrated Science and Technology from the University of Malta and James Madison University. Deanna is also a member of Women of Wind Energy (WoWE).

Dane Zammit

Dane Zammit, Data Manager
Dane will be taking on an administrative and technical role for the "Offshore Wind Test Site Development Effort" approved by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME). He will maintain schedules and time-lines for the approved work scope in coordination with the subcontractors as well as carrying out many technical tasks approved under this proposal. Dane completed his education in November, 2010 and Dane's programs of study include a Bachelor of Science (Honors) with Mathematics and Physics (University of Malta); and a Master of Science in Sustainable Environmental Resource Management/Integrated Science and Technology (University of Malta/James Madison University).

Ken Newbold

Kenneth F. Newbold, Jr. , Director of Research Development
Kenneth currently serves as the Director of Research Development at James Madison University. In this capacity he is responsible for building collaborative interdisciplinary teams to pursue a variety of externally sponsored opportunities, facilitate research and development opportunities for faculty, encourage staff and student researchers to promote the growth of JMU's sponsored research activities and faculty career development, and assist in identifying and responding to strategic initiatives. Additionally, he serves as the Director of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, where he works closely on wind related project development and the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium-Virginia Center for Wind Energy.

Our Facilities

The Virginia Center for Wind Energy at James Madison University maintains office and laboratory space on Technology Drive at a commercial site only ten minutes from the JMU campus in the northern Harrisonburg area. JMU faculty and Center staff work out of a suite of offices and conduct teaching, training, research, and development in a ~4000 square foot high bay laboratory space.

The high bay space is used for storage and maintenance of equipment that is deployed to assess wind resources as well as including  a Russell's Technical Products environmental chamber, a K.H. Steuernagel Solar Simulation System, an array of infrared imaging and detection equipment, and various systems that support instrumentation, measurement, and testing. Two tower sections and an assortment of small functional wind turbines have been added to this space in Fall 2010 and will support teaching and training pertaining to small wind installer as well as traditional teaching of undergraduates from both 4-yr and 2-yr institutions and K12 students.

In addition the VCWE maintains a small dedicated laboratory in the ISAT building on the JMU campus that serves primarily undergraduate and graduate students and is equipped with workstations used for wind analysis. These workstations are equipped with industry-standard modeling and analysis software packages including Windographer, Garrad Hassan's Wind Farmer, WaSP, and GIS (ArcGIS).

In June 2010 the Commonwealth awarded $800,000 to JMU to develop a Small Wind Training and Testing Facility. This facility is now open and available to the public. It will provide a platform for training on siting, safety, installation, and operations in a live and realistic outdoor environment and will also provide a test bed for studying and certifying new small wind technologies

Driving directions to our Headquarters/High Bay and the Small Wind Training and Testing Facility