In This Issue
DOE Issues Guidance on Wind Turbine Quality Assurance
Public Comment on revised AWEA Standard
Policy Updates
New SWCC Wind Turbine Ratings
SWCC Accreditation Renewed
New Board Member
Distributed Wind Webinars
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.   

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June 2014  


Efforts to promote and advance certification for small and medium wind turbines continue to ramp up, with several organizations actively engaged and urging the adoption of requirements.


In our ongoing effort to ensure transparency and clarity, SWCC has added new ratings and inactivity requirements, described below. One more applicant has renewed their certification, maintaining our tally at 10 wind turbine models carrying full or partial SWCC certifications. Due to SWCC's new time limits, two turbine models are no longer listed as pending applicants, reducing the web listing to 7 models actively under contract or under test working toward certification.


In addition, SWCC recently obtained a 2-year renewal of our A2LA accreditation, now according to the new ISO/IEC 17065 international standard for product certification bodies covering both small and medium wind certification.


We also provide updates on the revised AWEA Small Wind Turbine Standard public comment period, an upcoming webinar that will include discussion about certification requirements on June 26, and a profile of one of SWCC's new Board members in our ongoing series.


Let me know if you have any questions or comments about SWCC activities.

Blue Wind Left 

Larry Sherwood
Executive Director
Green Wind Left

DOE Issues Guidance on Wind Turbine Quality Assurance 

The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind and Water Power Technology Office (WWPTO) Director Jose Zayas has issued a 4-page guidance memorandum to 17 federal agencies recommending that public funds be provided only for certified wind turbines and that local planning officials, utilities, banks, state energy offices and federal agencies adopt certification requirements as a means of protection against untested technologies, unverified claims about turbine performance, and equipment failures.


As follow-up, the Distributed Wind Energy Association has updated its recommended certification criteria specifying that certification reports should be publicly released by organizations accredited to ISO/IEC 17065, and both the Clean Energy States Alliance and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council circulated the DOE guidance memo to more than 60 state agencies and utilities.

Blue Wind Left
Revised AWEA Small Wind Turbine Standard Released for Comment

The American Wind Energy Association has released a draft version of its updated Small Wind Turbine Standard for public comment. The new standard, AWEA SWT-1-201X, will replace the current standard, adopted in 2009.


SWCC currently certifies small wind turbines with a rotor swept area of 200 m2 or less to the AWEA Standard 9.1-2009. Once the new standard is adopted, SWCC will begin the transition to the new standard. The draft standard can be found here and AWEA will accept public comments until August 18, 2014.
Green Wind Right

Maintaining an Active Applicant List

On May 7, 2014 SWCC's small and medium wind certification policies both received updates to their inactivity clause (section H.6). The previous requirement remains in effect: if a turbine model under contract with SWCC does not reach a status of "Under Test" within 18 months, its certification application will be placed on "Inactive" status and removed from the SWCC website.

In an effort to maintain a list of active applicants, SWCC has now added two more requirements:

  1. If the turbine model has not yet achieved "Reports Submitted" status after two years from the "Under Test" date, it will become "Inactive"; and
  2. If after one year from the "Reports Submitted" date the SWCC has not yet granted, conditionally granted, or rejected its certification, the turbine model will become "Inactive."

These new time limits resulted in the removal of two turbine models from SWCC's pending applicants list. In addition to the 10 turbine models with full or partial SWCC certification, 7 models are actively under contract or under test working toward certification, out of 55 total models with applications initiated since SWCC's inception in 2010. Current SWCC policies can be found here. A new FAQ on Inactivity has been posted, which can be found here.

Blue Wind Right

New SWCC Wind Turbine Ratings

The SWCC May 2014 certification policy updates also included new ratings for both small and medium wind turbines. For medium wind turbines, new ratings added to align with international ratings and with the small wind turbine ratings in AWEA Standard 9.1-2009 include:
  • Reference Annual Energy, the calculated total energy that would be produced during a one-year period with an average wind speed of 5 m/s (11.2 mph).
  • Reference Sound Pressure Level,  the sound pressure level (dBA) not exceeded by the wind turbine 95% of the time at a distance of 60 meters from the rotor with an average wind speed of 5 m/s (11.2 mph).
  • Reference Power, the highest point on the certified power curve at or below 11 m/s (24.6 mph).
  • Peak Power, the highest point on the certified power curve.

For small wind turbines, Peak Power has been added. The new medium wind ratings are similar to the small wind turbine ratings, but are not identical. The syntax and definitions of ratings for both medium and small wind turbines are expected to align once the new edition of the AWEA Standard is released


SWCC has posted a new FAQ on these new ratings, which can be found here. 

Blue Wind Left
A2LA Accreditation Renewed to ISO/IEC 17065

Signifying its successful completion of a thorough organizational assessment, in May 2014 SWCC obtained a 2-year renewal of its accreditation by American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) to certify small and medium-sized wind turbine models, now according to the new ISO/IEC 17065 international standard for product certification bodies.The renewal and update follows SWCC's recent expansion of scope providing certification of power and acoustic performance for medium wind turbines.


Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17065 allows the universal recognition of SWCC turbine certifications worldwide, while ensuring that certification activities are conducted impartially, systematically and in a uniform manner. The accreditation confirms that resulting product certifications are consistent with international product certification standards and based on objective testing and evaluation.


SWCC's renewed A2LA accreditation certificate, valid through June 30, 2016, and updated accreditation scope are available at

Blue Wind Right
New SWCC Board Member Represents Installer Sector  
Gary Harcourt, founder and manager of Great Rock Windpower on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, was elected for a three-year term on SWCC's Board of Directors beginning in January 2014.


Gary founded Great Rock with the mission of promoting small wind power through the installation of safe, reliable and cost effective small wind energy systems. Having been involved in nearly 100 successful small wind installations ranging in size from 2.5 to 50 kW both at home and abroad he has carried out this mission with great success.


He serves as a consultant to Endurance Windpower Inc. as a support specialist and commissioning engineer where he travels across the North America and Europe to assist new installers and turbine owners. As a certified turbine climber and rescue instructor, Gary is responsible for training all North American employees of Endurance Wind Power involved in tower climbing as well as his own Great Rock Windpower climbers.


A self-described wind addict, Gary spends most of his time either learning more or spreading the knowledge he has acquired about small wind energy.

Blue Wind Left
MN Distributed Wind Webinars
In partnership with the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society, the Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources is hosting a series of public webinars on distributed wind that focuses on the use of wind turbines used at homes, farms, businesses, public facilities, and remote sites to offset all or a portion of local energy consumption. The webinars are designed to allow Q&A sessions and stakeholder participation to help lay the framework for future policy changes in Minnesota. Policies that are being considered include establishing certification requirements for wind turbines in order to be eligible for incentives. To register for the next webinar, Conclusions from Minnesota's Distributed Wind Market Assessment, scheduled for Thursday, June 26, or to watch recordings of past webinars visit the MRES website