Several incentive programs have started requiring certification for distributed wind turbines to become or continue to be qualified to receive funding. For a summary see SWCC’s Incentive Eligibility page and Links to Incentive Programs that are requiring or expecting to require certification. The Database for State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) also has current information on dozens of additional state and utility policies for wind incentive programs.
Certification enables consumer comparison of the wide variety of wind turbine products on the market. Funding agencies and utilities will gain greater confidence that distributed wind turbines installed with public assistance have been tested for safety, function, performance and durability and meet requirements of consensus standards. Certification can help prevent unethical marketing and false claims, thereby ensuring consumer protection and industry credibility.
What is the difference between the AWEA Rated Power and a Nominal Power listing for a certified turbine?
Small wind turbines certified to the AWEA Standard are required to publish the AWEA Rated Power in their specifications. This rating is the wind turbine’s power output at 11 m/s (24.6 mph) per its certified power curve. Manufacturers may still describe or name their turbine using Nominal Power. Nominal Power is designated by the manufacturer for descriptive marketing purposes.
Turbine certification is valid so long as the certification renewal conditions listed in the SWCC certification policies are met. Certification must be renewed annually. If ownership of the turbine design changes, a new Certification Agreement must be signed by the new owner to maintain the validity of the certification, per the ‘Change in Ownership’ clause in the SWCC certification policies.