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Interconnection and Net Metering
Small Wind in the News
About the Small Wind Newsletter




Photo credit Warren Gretz / NREL


Welcome to the Winter 2014 issue of IREC's   
Small Wind Newsletter! 


Larry Sherwood

We open this issue with an article about the current state of small wind turbine certification. We think you'll agree that certification has been a good thing for our industry, and helps consumers distinguish between the good, the bad, and the untested turbines on the market. Several certification bodies now provide this service.


The next frontier for improvement is site assessment. To succeed as an industry, we need to make sure that turbines are installed in good locations. Consumers need to be given accurate information about the wind characteristics at their site, so they make good economic decisions for themselves, and their expectations are in line with the resources available where the turbine is installed.


Installer certification remains an elusive goal, with NABCEP closing their program due to insufficient enrollment. The quandary is that, while these efforts to ensure a well-trained and educated workforce are good, installer certification is expensive, especially when the market is small. Some people argue that, in an emerging industry such as ours, certification of turbine installations by qualified personnel requires investment by the government. Once the industry grows, the hope is that there will be more potential for this process to be supported by the industry itself.


The Small Wind News will do our best to keep you informed on these important issues as they develop. As always, if you find this issue has useful information that helps you better understand the changing world of small wind, please forward it to others who might be interested. Details on subscribing can be found at the end of the newsletter.

Sherwood Signature
Larry Sherwood

Certification of Wind Turbines Hits Its Stride

It has long been a goal of many in the small wind industry to certify wind turbines so that consumers can accurately compare the wide variety of wind turbine products on the market. With certification, funding agencies and utilities can have confidence that distributed wind turbines installed with public assistance have been tested for safety, function, performance and durability and meet agreed-upon standards. Certification can help prevent unethical marketing and false claims, thereby ensuring consumer protection and industry credibility. Read on.  


Photo courtesy NREL Image Gallery


2014 Small Wind Conference Seeks Presentation Proposals

The Small Wind Conference is seeking presentation proposals for the 10th annual conference, to be held June 16-18, 2014 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Wind installers, site assessors, consultants, designers, authors, wind energy business owners and employees, and other professionals in the industry are invited to submit proposals. Read on.


Eocycle brings wind power to North Pole   

Eocycle Technologies announced the installation of an Eocycle 25 wind turbine in Kotzebue, Alaska, a community located approximately 50 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. With its hassle-free operation under the extreme conditions characteristic of this region, the simplified, crane-less installation of this Eocycle 25 marks an important milestone for the company, as it seeks to provide renewable energy solutions for small remote communities that want to reduce their dependence on costly and polluting fossil fuels.


World Summit for Small Wind Turbines

The 5th World Summit for Small Wind 2014 (WSSW), the world's largest small wind event, will be held March 20-21, 2014 in Husum, Germany. The international summit of the small wind turbine industry is being held parallel to the New Energy Husum trade fair. This year the organizers are introducing a special small wind turbine forum that is open to the general public. Read on


DWEA to host 3rd Annual Lobby Day

The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) is hosting its third annual Lobby Day in Washington, DC. After a full day of lobbying on Capitol Hill, there will be a business conference that focuses on industry trends. The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) is a collaborative group comprised of manufacturers, distributors, project developers, dealers, installers, and advocates, whose primary mission is to promote and foster all aspects of the American distributed wind energy industry.  Read on


First Annual Collegiate Wind Competition to be held in May

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition will be held May 5-7 alongside the American Wind Energy Association's WINDPOWERŽ 2014 Conference & Exhibition at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Ten teams of undergraduate students from multiple disciplines will design and construct lightweight, portable small wind turbines intended to power small electronic devices.  Read on. 


ASES Wind Division to host Webinar on Small Wind Standards in February 

The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Wind Division will host a webinar February 11, 2014, at 3pm Eastern Time, on the topic of Small Wind Standards. The webinar will provide an overview of the status of the world and U.S. market requirements for turbines under 200 m2 of swept area. Participants will learn how the recent revision of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard 61400-2 will affect the marketplace for global certification and labeling while quality infrastructure is still in a state of flux. Read on


Appalachian State seeks Professor of Appropriate Technology

Appalachian State University is seeking to fill a tenure-track faculty position as Assistant/Associate Professor or Practitioner in Residence in the Department of Technology and Environmental Design beginning August 2014. This person would teach undergraduate and/or graduate level courses related to sustainability and renewable energy technologies in the Appropriate Technology program and expand the professional contacts of the program in the renewable energy industry. Read on


Upcoming Small Wind Events  

For a full listing of upcoming wind energy events, click here.      


Check the Interstate Renewable Energy Council's Regulatory Reform web site for the latest interconnection and net metering news.   


NEW HAMPSHIRE PUC Approves Group Net Metering Rules

New Hampshire's group net metering rules are similar to those in Vermont, where a "host" customer may register with a utility and assume the duties and obligations required to administer a group net metering system.  These duties include providing the utility with information about the group, such as the generation capacity and historic electric loads of the customers, and submitting an annual report that details any changes to the group membership.  Read on.    


OHIO Joins Top States Improving Interconnection Procedures for Renewables

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio adopted greatly improved interconnection procedures that make it easier for small renewable energy systems to connect to the distribution grid. "These updates will really help streamline the interconnection process," said Sky Stanfield an attorney who represents IREC. "Specifically, they will help developers find high-value locations for siting projects and expand the opportunities for projects to follow an expedited review, all while maintaining the safety, power quality and reliability of the grid." Read on.   



New Incentives reported by the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE), a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy. To access state-by-state incentives and policies that promote wind energy technologies, click here and select "wind (all)" or "wind (small)" from the drop-down menu. DSIRE is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.


MONTANA: Renewable Energy Fund

NorthWestern Energy (NWE), formerly Montana Power Company, periodically provides funding to its customers for renewable energy projects. In 1997, Montana established the Universal System Benefits (USB) program. Incentives of $1.50/watt are offered for residential solar photovoltaic (PV) installations up to a maximum of $6,000 per customer; the incentive for wind is $2/watt to a maximum of $10,000 per customer. NorthWestern Energy has developed qualification requirements for dealers and installers of these small scale systems.  Except for PV, all systems must participate in a request for proposal (RFP) process.  Read more.



These articles from around the U.S. give examples of how small wind is covered today,  good or bad.


NORTH CAROLINA: Wind Power Brews Up Outer Banks Suds

EarthTechling, January 17, 2014

How did we not know about this?

Wind powered breweries, you need to send us press releases. And samples! Definitely samples.

We're prompted to this admonition by learning, more than five years after the fact, that Outer Banks Brewing Station, near where the Wright Brothers took first flight in North Carolina, runs (partly) on wind power. The local Triangle Business Journal ferreted out the news after Southern Alliance for Clean Energy included OBBS among 14 wind-power tourist attractions. (National Geographic was on the case early.) Read on.


NEBRASKA: City finalizing regulations for smaller wind turbines

Kearney Hub, January 16, 2014

The Kearney Planning Commission will discuss vertical axis wind turbines and a new subdivision when it meets Friday. The commission is expected to approve rules for smaller wind turbines that are 45 feet tall or shorter and designed for residential areas and other urban sites. Some of these turbines are small enough to be installed on roofs. Read on.


Podcast: What Can the Small Wind Industry Learn From Solar's Success?

Greentech Media, January 13, 2014

In 2006, the small wind industry was poised to take off in the U.S. But then solar surged ahead, leaving small wind in the dust. What happened?

In this week's show, we'll look at how the small wind industry can regain its footing and live up to its potential. Small wind pioneer Andy Kruse joins us to chat about the ups and downs in the market, and to draw some parallels to distributed solar. Read on.


A2LA Extends Accreditation of Small Wind Certification Council

Altenergy Magazine, January 16, 2014

Reflecting its increased organizational scope, the Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) has obtained accreditation by American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) to certify medium-sized wind turbine models, defined as newly manufactured, electricity-producing wind turbines with a swept area greater than 200 square meters (about 50 kW). Read on.


VIRGINIA: Carbon Footprint Blowin' in the Wind

The Roanoke Times, January 6, 2014

After a calm weekend, the sun broke out Monday, temperatures plunged and the wind began roaring. The latter was a bit of comfort to Doug and Mary McCallum, a southwest Roanoke County couple who live in an all-electric house in a large clearing high on Twelve O'Clock Knob. Next to their gravel driveway is a 100-foot-tall steel tower topped by a wind turbine. Erected in the summer of 2011, it's the only residential small-wind project in Roanoke County. Every time the three 12-foot-long fiberglass blades on their 10-kilowatt Bergey turbine are turning, they're saving money. Read on.


The Small Wind Newsletter is published electronically by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

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If you have comments or news items, please send them to Larry Sherwood at [email protected] .

Disclaimer: The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC's endorsement or recommendation.


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