In This Issue
IRS Certification Requirement Pending
"Quality is quiet. Mistakes are not"
Hundreds of Options Make Small Wind Certification Critical
SWCC's Newest Board Member
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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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December 2014  


Certification requirements are one way that government agencies can insure that government funds spent on distributed wind installations are spent on safe, quality systems, a means of consumer protection against untested technologies, unverified claims about turbine performance, and equipment failures. As described in this newsletter, we believe that the IRS will shortly issue new guidance addressing performance and quality standards for small wind turbines to obtain the Federal investment tax credit.


We recently renewed the certification for the Bergey Excel 10 and are working to certify and renew certifications of several other turbine models.


We also provide information on a video, a case study, a webinar and a profile of one of SWCC's 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

IRS Certification Requirement Pending      

As indicated in the U.S. Department of Treasury's recently-published 2014-2015 Priority Guidance Plan update, new IRS eligibility requirements are expected soon for the Federal investment tax credit for small wind turbines - defined as having a nameplate capacity of no more than 100 kilowatts. The exact details of the requirements are not yet known, but we will disseminate this information once it is announced.


The addition of performance and quality assurance requirements at the Federal level is a good sign that certification is now a trusted and useful tool in protecting consumers and helping to ensure the successful implementation of distributed wind projects in the U.S. This step is a positive move that fits into the overall strategy the distributed wind industry as a whole has been pursuing for many years to strengthen the sector's credibility and reliability.


As stated in the April 2014 memorandum from Jose Zayas, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, "Since 2007, DOE's WWPTO has made significant investments to establish a process for small and medium-sized wind turbine certification." Now that wind turbine certification has reached a level of maturity, DOE encourages that "the use of public funds be provided only for wind turbines that have been tested and certified for safety, function, performance, and durability."


Many suppliers of distributed wind turbines have been actively pursuing certification since 2010. More than a dozen models have completed the process and several others are actively under way. These companies are well positioned to comply with this pending new requirement. A list of SWCC Applicants can be found here. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has just posted ratings of fully certified turbines for the US market. Please click here for the new IREC list.


Blue Wind Left
"Quality is quiet. Mistakes are not."

A new
2-minute video produced by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) in partnership with SWCC and other members of the Clean Energy Credentialing Coalition (CECC) encourages clean energy employers to commit to quality training and rely on credible credentials to reduce costly mistakes.


Accelerate Your Success

As part of a "collective commitment to better workmanship, better products and better training," CECC's website hosts several case studies - including one provided by SWCC below -demonstrating that recognized quality credentials send strong signals that rigorous standards have been met, offering a mark of distinction that strengthens the credential holder and promotes consumer confidence.


Green Wind Right
Hundreds of Options Make Small Wind Certification Critical

New York State dairy farmer Don Partridge was so pleased with the performance of his two wind turbines he decided to add a third to supply all his remaining electric needs. His investment in clean, renewable energy paid off. Because the Bergey Excel 10 model he chose is certified, Partridge was able to fund nearly the entire purchase and installation with state and federal incentives.



Don Partridge on his dairy farm with three Bergey Excel 10 wind turbines in the background. Photo Credit: Tom Rivers, (Batavia, NY) Daily News, NREL 26472


Several states, including his home state of New York, offer grants, rebates and other funding for installing eligible certified small and medium wind turbines.


"Certification is an important piece of the puzzle, an important starting point to determine which turbines should be eligible for funding," noted Mark Mayhew, NYSERDA project manager. "There are many installations in New York of non-certified turbines where the production that the owner was promised has not panned out. Having a quality installer who can properly site a wind turbine is also important."


Since NYSERDA bases its incentive on the expected output of the turbine at the proposed site, he explained, "it's comforting to know that the projected output is based on a power curve that was created by an independent body."


"Certification helps consumers distinguish between the good, the bad, and the untested wind turbines on the market and helps consumers accurately compare the wide variety of products available," explained SWCC Executive Director Larry Sherwood.


Mayhew points out that wind turbine certification requirements should be designed carefully so they are not an impediment to new players entering the marketplace, allowing for growth while maintaining integrity. "It is easy to set the bar so high that no one can clear it," he explained. "Certification has certainly helped mature the industry, but manufacturers must also realize that they have to be in it for the long haul."


With the progress that's been made in certifying small wind turbines, consumers can now use certification ratings as criteria for selecting a wind turbine model that is right for their needs. With incentive programs like NYSERDA's and others listed on SWCC's website, a certified wind turbine can be a much more reliable, economical and safe investment.


Read more at CECC's "Why Credentials?" 

  Blue Wind Right

WINDExchange December Webinar: Small and Distributed Wind Turbine Update


December 17, 2014, 3 p.m. ET


Add to my calendar
Save the date for this free webinar presenting an overview of recent news and updates pertaining to small and distributed wind turbines.


  • Bret Barker, U.S. Department of Energy, will present a DOE program overview, including a certification update and discussion of the implementation of certification standards into ITC/1603.
  • Robert Preus, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will describe the soon-to-be-published Small Wind Turbine Site Assessor's Guide.
  • Trudy Forsyth, Wind Advisors Team and SWCC Board President, will present an overview of the SMART Wind Consortium, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Blue Wind Right
SWCC's Newest Board Member       

Dan Turner, Ph.D., is currently Senior Program Analyst and Project Manager for Windustry. Dr. Turner took over managing four of Windustry's projects at the beginning of 2011. Three of the projects aim to explore the potential for utility-scale community wind with three rural groups around the country. The fourth project aims to support small wind development in Minnesota.


While at Windustry Dr. Turner has also given presentations on various aspects of wind energy at a variety of occasions including the Community Wind Across America conferences in Denver, St. Paul, and Ludington, MI, the Illinois Wind Working Group annual meeting in Chicago, Living Green Expo at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, and others. He published a piece on mid-sized turbines for North American Windpower, and produced a poster on distributed wind projects at the AWEA Windpower 2011 Conference.



Before joining Windustry Dr. Turner was a consultant with Wind Utility Consulting, PC, of Jefferson, IA. While there he worked closely with Tom Wind on feasibility studies for more than 10 projects, mostly in Iowa. He also produced technical requirements reports for USDA REAP 9007 grant proposals for 5 Iowa utility-scale wind projects. 


"Small wind is an important niche and the work of the SWCC is extremely valuable to the industry as it faces unique challenges due to the extraordinary amount of misinformation and poor judgment out there," noted Dr. Turner. "The SWCC does excellent work and is an honor to be part of its efforts."

Blue Wind Left