SWCC Issues First Two Full Certifications to U.S. Suppliers

Bergey Excel and Skystream Issued First Small Wind Consumer Labels

The Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) has issued its first two full certifications and consumer labels to the Bergey Windpower Excel 10 and the Southwest Windpower Skystream 3.7.

"The full certification of two turbine models is a major leap forward in establishing consistent consumer ratings and aiding incentive programs with determining eligibility," noted SWCC Executive Director Larry Sherwood. "Our labels allow easier comparison shopping and will help small wind turbines gain mainstream acceptance."

SWCC expects to issue more full certifications in the coming months, as more incentive programs initiate certification requirements. Sixteen of the remaining 27 turbine models under contract to pursue SWCC certification have either started or completed testing. Three turbine models have been granted Conditional Temporary Certification based on certification from the UK's Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). To be granted full SWCC certification, Conditional Temporary Certified turbines must meet the full requirements of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard and complete the SWCC review process.

"Small wind turbines have great potential to serve increasing demands for distributed generation and can provide a cost-effective solution for many homes, farms, schools and other end-users," noted Sherwood. "Certification helps prevent unethical marketing and false claims, so consumers can have confidence in ratings and funding agencies can ensure that the public's money is spent wisely."

SWCC has received 41 initial Notices of Intent to Apply for Certification and has agreements in place confirming plans for testing and analysis for 29 turbine models with less than 200 m2 swept area, three-fourths of which are sized for the residential market (under 20 kW).

Many state programs are either moving toward or are requiring certification to be eligible for incentives. The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently reinstituted its Emerging Renewables Program including immediate certification requirements. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) requires certification either by SWCC or other independent certifying agency, an EN45011 accredited international organization, or a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory for turbines not already on their approved list to qualify for rebates, and has announced it will require full certification to the AWEA 9.1 standard for small wind turbine models to remain eligible for funding as of September 30, 2012. Both NYSERDA and the CEC have seen record numbers of rebate applicants in the past year. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and numerous other state and utility programs rely on the NYSERDA list and the SWCC to qualify small wind turbines for incentives. Programs in Oregon and Wisconsin have established certification requirements for incentives eligibility, and programs in Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, and Vermont have indicated their intention to follow suit.

SWCC's Incentives webpage provides further background about eligibility criteria and direct links to several programs requiring or expecting to require certification. SWCC has developed options for agencies and utilities to consider for incorporating certification requirements and structuring incentives, including suggestions for wind turbines with a swept area of more than 200 m2 and therefore outside the scope of the AWEA Standard.

About SWCC
The SWCC is an independent certification body that certifies small wind turbines meet or exceed the requirements of the AWEA Standard. SWCC certification is an independent confirmation that a small wind turbine has been tested and designed according to the requirements of the AWEA Standard. This certification provides a common North American standard for reporting turbine energy and sound performance, and helps small wind technology gain mainstream acceptance. Consumer labels, ratings and summary reports for SWCC certified turbine models, including tabulated power curves, acoustic data, and tower design requirements, along with a complete list of SWCC pending applicant turbine models, are available at www.smallwindcertification.org/for-consumer. SWCC updates its certified turbines table and application status table on its website as milestones are reached.

Visit www.smallwindcertification.org or call 518-213-9440 for more information on the certification process.

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