SWCC Banner
In This Issue
23 Pending Applications
Wisconsin Deadline
Field Test Options
Quick Links


SWCC thanks the U.S. Department of Energy, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and other sponsors for financial assistance they have provided to SWCC to assist with the start-up of the small wind turbine certification program.
Click here for a list of all SWCC funders.

Join Our Mailing List

January 2011


Larry Sherwood

As the Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) consumer labeling process moves forward, the need for certification is becoming more pressing to qualify for incentives. With several recent new additions, 23 turbine models currently have pending applications for SWCC certification. Wisconsin's Focus on Energy has joined with the Energy Trust of Oregon in leading the way to require certification for turbines to qualify for incentives beginning January 1, 2012.

While we're eagerly awaiting the first certification approvals, expected within the next few months, we're providing more background on how SWCC relates to the UK's Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and various testing options available for manufacturers.


As always, I'm available if you have questions or comments about SWCC activities.

Blue Wind Left
Larry Sherwood
Executive Director

Green Wind Left
SWCC Pending Application List Grows to 23 Wind Turbine Models

The number of pending applicants for SWCC Certification keeps climbing. SWCC recently received several additional manufacturer Notices of Intent, pushing the number of small wind turbines in line for certification up to 23.


As of January 2011, SWCC has pending applications from: Bergey Windpower, Eveready Diversified Products, Polaris America, Urban Green Energy (2 models each); and American Zephyr, Cascade Engineering, Endurance Wind Power, Enertech, Evance Wind Turbines, Gaia Wind, Potencia Industrial, Renewegy, Seaforth Energy, Southwest Windpower, Taisei Techno, UrWind, Ventera Energy, Windspire Energy, and Xzeres Wind.


The first turbine certification is expected in early 2011, with a few others to follow soon after. The majority of the turbine models pending application are just beginning the field testing process and are expected to receive certifications in 2011 or later.

We keep an updated list of Applicants and turbines, along with their Certification Agreement execution date, on the SWCC Website. The "Application Pending" status indicates that the applicant has executed a Certification Agreement with the SWCC and does not indicate that SWCC Certification has been granted.
Green Wind Right
Wisconsin Sets Deadline for Small Wind Certification
As a next step after establishing a provisional incentive for small wind turbines that are pending certification, Wisconsin's Focus on Energy incentive program has announced that it will require certification for all turbines that fall within the SWCC swept area limit to stay or become eligible for incentives as of January 1, 2012.

This corresponds with the same date set by the Energy Trust of Oregon for ending its internal review process and requiring certification from an independent body such as the SWCC. Both programs have also established pathways for wind turbines with swept areas larger than 200 square meters to continue to qualify for incentives.

Independent certification by SWCC is helping to simplify multiple qualification procedures for state and utility incentives and rebates. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) accepts SWCC certification for qualification for rebates, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) now requires either SWCC certification or NYSERDA qualification. Programs in California, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, and Vermont have indicated their intention to follow suit.

The Database for State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) Database has current information on dozens of state and utility policies for small wind incentive programs, and SWCC's Website provides direct links to eligibility language for several programs expecting to require certification.
Blue Wind Left
What is SWCC Relationship to MCS?
SWCC has some similarities but also important differences from the UK's Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Both are independent, third-party entities whose certification assures the quality of small wind turbines as well as provides government agencies with reliable technical information so they can intelligently craft consumer renewable energy programs.

Under MCS, manufacturers must 1) comply with the BWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard and 2) receive verification that the company's quality management system is in accordance with the Factory Production Control requirements. SWCC certifies to the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard only.

While the core of the AWEA and BWEA Standards are harmonized, turbines certified to MCS receive additional attention in North America. For example, because grid requirements differ in the UK and North America, the two configurations may exhibit operational differences that require additional evaluation or testing. In addition, MCS acoustic data must be reanalyzed before a turbine can be certified to the AWEA Standard.

SWCC offers a time-limited Conditional Temporary Certification for small wind turbines certified to the IEC 61400 series of Standards or the BWEA Standard. Applicants may be required to satisfy identified conditions within the eighteen (18) month Conditional Certification period in order for the SWT to be eligible to apply for full SWCC Certification.

Information on how manufacturers can satisfy various requirements for multiple certifications is provided on the SWCC Website.
Blue Wind Right
Small Wind Turbine Field Testing Options
SWCC review utilizes two data streams en route to certification: structural analysis and field-testing results. Field testing takes by far the longest time to complete as testing must be performed in "free air." Consequently, SWCC makes several field testing options available to expedite the process for applicants.

SWCC applicants may choose to use an accredited or non-accredited laboratory, or to conduct the testing themselves. Accredited organizations include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO, and a handful of other labs in Canada, United Kingdom, and Germany. Non-accredited organizations undergo SWCC evaluation and approval and include the NREL Regional Test Centers (in KS, NY, TX, UT) as well as several organizations across North America.

Testing performed by non-accredited organizations or self-testing by manufacturers requires on-site audits and a higher level of scrutiny to independently verify the test setup complies with the AWEA standard, the organization's competence, and the quality of the test reports.

Non-accredited testing organizations or self-testing requires signing a testing agreement with the SWCC, agreeing to the test plans and SWCC test site evaluation. All testing must comply with the AWEA Standard and SWCC Policies. All testing costs are the responsibility of the certification applicant.

Details about field testing are available in the SWCC Certification Policy. You can also download a list of potential test organizations that intend to test small wind turbines for the North American market.

Blue Wind Left