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First Certification Complete
New State Guidelines
Unified Eligibility List
SWCC Policy Updates
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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.

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November 2011


Larry Sherwood

We are thrilled to announce the release of the first Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) full certification!


The first fully SWCC-certified wind turbine model signifies a major step forward in creating consistent consumer ratings and aiding incentive programs with eligibility determinations. Our Certification Commission, governing Board, organizational structure and staffing are ready to ramp up and quickly process several additional testing results and analysis reports expected in the coming weeks, spurred in part by the California Energy Commission's reopening of its Emerging Renewables Program with immediate certification requirements.


Out of the 28 turbine models actively under contract to pursue SWCC certification, 16 have either started or completed testing. Four of these have achieved SWCC Conditional Temporary Certification based on their certified status under the UK's Microgeneration Certification Scheme.  


Several applicants have indicated plans to pursue SWCC's new Limited Power Performance Certification option to certify power curve results before duration testing is complete. SWCC's Board has adopted a set of Policy updates to clarify details of the certification and public disclosure process, described below.


SWCC encourages funding agencies, utilities, consumer advocates and other stakeholders to continue pressing small wind turbine manufacturers for timely independent certification results.


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 Issues First Full Certification and Consumer Label     

This week SWCC issued its first full certification and consumer label to one of the largest small wind turbine manufacturers in the US market. The Bergey Windpower Excel 10 became the first turbine to complete the full SWCC certification process, earning a consumer label that specifies compliance with the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard (AWEA Standard 9.1 - 2009).      


The consumer label shows the Rated Annual Energy, the Rated Sound Level and Rated Power. SWCC has also published an official certificate and a Summary Report for the turbine model, which contains the tabulated power curve and acoustic data, tower design requirements, and confirms that it meets all of the AWEA Standard's requirements on durability, mechanical strength, safety and function.   


This week SWCC also awarded Conditional Temporary Certification to the Xzeres-442SR, which joins the Evance R9000, the Evoco 10 kW, and the Skystream 3.7 in achieving this milestone. Before SWCC releases consumer labels for conditionally certified turbine models, these applicants must meet a few additional requirements of the AWEA Standard and submit a full application package, including acoustics data reanalysis, to SWCC for evaluation.  

Green Wind Right

CA, NJ & NY Incentive Programs Push Certification Forward

Ending an 8-month suspension of the nation's longest running small wind incentive program, the California Energy Commission approved new guidelines to protect consumers and ensure efficient use of ratepayer dollars, relaunching its Emerging Renewables Program (ERP) incentives and accepting new applications for turbines with third-party certification on November 9, 2011. ERP's list of eligible equipment is now limited to wind turbines with power curves certified by SWCC or a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), and as of November 2012 any turbine without complete certification satisfying the AWEA 9.1-2009 standard or the IEC 61400-2 standard will be removed.


In a similar move, last month the New Jersey Office of Clean Energy (OCE) released proposed changes to their suspended wind component of the Renewable Energy Incentive Program (REIP) to protect the public, restore confidence, and minimize risk to ratepayer dollars which would require either full third-party certification or power curve certification together with NRTL "field listing" of each individual small wind turbine installed.


In addition, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) joined the Energy Trust of Oregon and Wisconsin's Focus on Energy in setting a deadline for small wind turbines with rotor swept areas of less than 200 m2 to be fully certified in order to remain on its list of eligible wind turbines. Effective September 30, 2012, any turbine to which the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard applies must be certified by a recognized Accredited Certification Organization or SWCC in order to be eligible for funding under NYSERDA On-Site Wind Turbine Incentive Program.


SWCC held a meeting in September 2011 with several incentive program managers, Mark Higgins from U.S. Department of Energy, and other stakeholders to discuss ideas for accelerating the small wind industry's progress toward certification. Some agencies are considering setting milestones as a way to encourage the transition, such as near-term targets for certified power curves to qualify for expedited processing of applications or payments, or to qualify for higher levels of incentives.

Blue Wind Left
Advisory Council to Issue
Unified Eligibility List

The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) has been working with several of its members over the past four months to develop and launch the Interstate Turbine Advisory Council (ITAC), a national effort to create a unified list of both small and midscale turbines (those above the AWEA 9.1 cutoff) that meet the performance and durability expectations of state incentive programs.  


This effort is intended to reduce market confusion and inefficiency by condensing the many state-level eligible wind turbine lists into a single resource. Rather than evaluating wind turbines individually on a state-by-state basis, participating programs are pooling knowledge, field data, and resources to develop the improved, central list.


This week ITAC initiated an appeal to wind turbine manufacturers currently eligible for incentives in New York, Oregon, or Wisconsin to submit an application for inclusion on the first version of the unified list. According to ITAC, this will be the only active solicitation; in future,  manufacturers will need to actively initiate the listing process with ITAC. Manufacturers were requested to submit their responses by December 1, 2011.
Criteria for turbines to be listed are in development, pending evaluation of the first group of turbines for the initial version of the list. ITAC hopes to have a website in place in December. The website will house the list of qualified turbines, information for manufacturers about the process for applying for review, turbine requirements, and participating states. 

Blue Wind Right

SWCC Policy Updates Clarify Process 

Continuing efforts to provide consumers with a high level of confidence in certification procedures as well as remaining responsive to stakeholder requests for systematic improvements, SWCC's Board has implemented an additional set of policy improvements.

The updates reflect efforts to clarify and streamline processes and ensure impartiality and objectivity in the certification process. Notable changes include:

  • An update to the Qualified Testing Organizations section that clarifies the requirements for turbines tested at a facility operated by the small wind turbine Manufacturer, adding further requirements to ensure impartiality of field testing.  
  • Clarifications to processes and details in Complaints and Disputes Related to SWT/Reporting and Records Requirement.  Tighter policy language now makes explicit the continuous quality feedback as part of the annual renewal process.  This clarification ensures that the certification process follows the turbine, even after certification is attained.

SWCC has also updated its Applicant Resources including small wind turbine design consultants who may be able to assist SWCC Applicants with the strength analysis portion of certification, and organizations that intend to test small wind turbines for the North American market.

Green Wind Left
SWCC's Vice President Provides
Long-Term Perspective

For 30 years, SWCC Board Vice President Mick Sagrillo has MickSwitnessed first-hand the growth of the small wind energy industry.  As the owner of Sagrillo Power and Light, Mick works as a writer and editor for multiple magazines and industry publications, and provides educational workshops on small wind energy systems. In 1981, he founded Lake Michigan Wind & Sun, Ltd, a manufacturer and remanufacturer of wind generator components and towers. Mick continues to perform equipment repair and small wind system installations in workshops.


In addition to SWCC, Mick sits on multiple boards including Renew Wisconsin, the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA), and and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).  He is a founding member of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and served on the Board for 20 years. Mick's experience spans more than 700 projects across the United States and across nearly 30 countries.  


Thanks for your service on the SWCC Board of Directors, Mick!