IRS will require small wind turbines be certified

Distributed wind industry views performance and quality assurances at the Federal level as a positive step for successful deployment of distributed wind projects in U.S.

WASHINGTON DC –


The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued Notice 2015-4 providing new performance and quality standards that require certification of small wind turbines – defined as having a nameplate capacity of up to 100 kW – in order to qualify for the 30% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

"Distributed wind power for homes, farms, and small business is generating clean, affordable and homegrown electricity across all 50 states and as the market grows, it's of critical importance to ensure high quality products make it to market" said Jennifer Jenkins, Executive Director of the Distributed Wind Energy Association. "These certification requirements provide performance and quality assurance for consumers, government agencies and the industry, and help to ensure the successful implementation of distributed wind projects domestically."

"The new certification requirement addresses the small, but persistent segment at the fringe of the industry that make wild assertions on efficiency, performance, and the their special ability to work on buildings or very short towers. Now, in order to qualify for the federal tax credits, they will have to prove these claims to third-party experts. That will be very challenging or impossible for unproven designs with exaggerated performance, but will not pose a major barrier for the industry leaders", added Jenkins.

Effective for small wind turbines acquired or placed in service after January 26, 2015, the guidance requires that qualifying small wind manufacturers provide certification to either: (1) American Wind Energy Association Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard 9.1-2009 (AWEA); or (2) International Electrotechnical Commission 61400-1, 61400-12, and 61400-11 (IEC). The certification must be issued by an eligible certifier, which is defined as a third party, that is accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation or other similar accreditation
body. Documentation establishing that the turbine meets the new requirements must be provided to taxpayers in order to claim the credit.

"As an industry, we have been working for many years to strengthen the credibility and reliability of our products," Jenkins continued. "I'm proud to note that our membership has been leading the way on this front, actively pursuing certification since 2010 and poised to comply with these new standards."

Additional Information:

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) maintains a list of ratings of fully certified turbines for the U.S. market.

A list of Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) Applicants can be found here. A similar list for the second certifying body, Intertek, can be found here

Notice 2015-4 is posted at: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-15-04.pdf. The notice reminds manufacturers that an erroneous certification may result in penalties: (a) Under section 7206 for fraud and making false statements; and (b) Under section 6701 for aiding and abetting an understatement of tax liability ($1,000 per return on which a credit is claimed in reliance on the certification). To help manufacturers and taxpayers understand the new IRS requirements, SWCC will develop and publish a set of FAQs on its website.

For more information
Lauren Glickman, Communications Manager
lglickman@distributedwind.org, 504-258-7955

Hi-resolution images of certified small wind turbines available upon request.
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About the Distributed Wind Energy Association
The Distributed Wind Energy Association 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. Distributed wind is the use of wind turbines at homes, farm and ranches, businesses, public and industrial facilities, off-grid and other sites connected either physically or virtually on the customer side of the meter to offset all or a portion of local energy consumption or to support grid operations. DWEA seeks to represent members and associates from all sectors with relevant interests pertaining to the distributed wind industry. For more information on DWEA, please go to www.distributedwind.org. Follow us on Twitter @DWEA and like us on Facebook.

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