Do SWCC turbine certifications include the tower or foundation?
ICC-SWCC certifies small and medium wind turbine systems to the ACP 101-1, AWEA 9.1 and IEC 61400 standards, respectively. Towers and foundations are outside the scope of the standards. SWCC certification reports may provide tower and mounting information for the convenience of the user. But this information has not been evaluated by SWCC and is provided from the turbine manufacturer.
Does SWCC certify wind turbines for electrical safety?
No. ICC-SWCC is accredited to certify wind turbines to the ACP 101-1, AWEA 9.1 and IEC 61400 standards for structural safety, durability, acoustics and power production. Electrical safety for distributed wind turbines in North America is addressed in the UL 6142 standard. Electrical listings may only be provided by Nationally Recognized Test Labs (NRTLs) per OSHA, for accredited standards. Click here to access the list of NRTLs. Note that not all NRTLs are accredited to provide listings for all standards.
What’s the difference between testing and certification?
When a manufacturer gets a product tested by a test laboratory, it’s a one-time activity. The test lab will test samples of the product and check that they conform to the requirements of a standard or other specification. When it is completed, the manufacturer receives a test report that indicates whether the product complied with the requirements - at the time the testing was done. Having a product evaluated by a Certification Body (CB) goes much further. It involves evaluation of both the product itself AND the production (manufacturing) process to the requirements of a Certification Scheme. Certification Schemes are based on regional, national or international standards together with any other criteria deemed necessary by the scheme owner. Many times, the CB will utilize results of third-party testing by an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory as part of the product evaluation. Successful applicants for certification are usually granted a Certificate of Conformity and the right to use of a Certification Mark to apply to the product. The Certification Mark allows manufacturers to demonstrate that their product continues to meet the quality and safety standards required by the scheme. The differences are summarized below. Test Laboratory
- Tests product only
- Tests for conformity with any requirements, which could be the manufacturer’s own specification, product standard or other
- Issues a test report
- One-off process, no follow-up.
- Any subsequent changes to the product are not covered
- Accreditation to ISO 17025 for Testing Laboratories
- Evaluates both the product and production process
- Tests for compliance with the requirements outlined in a Certification Scheme which is based on national, regional or international standards, together with any other requirements deemed necessary by the Scheme Owner
- If successful, issues a Certificate of Conformity and grants permission to use a Certification Mark
- Ongoing process to demonstrate continued conformity with the scheme’s requirements
- Accreditation to ISO 17065 for Certification Bodies
My turbine is certified by another certification body. Can I transfer that certification to ICC-SWCC?
We welcome applications to transfer certifications to ICC-SWCC. ICC-SWCC usually conducts a Preliminary Review for turbines certified to other standards or by other programs to assess the specific steps needed to certify it under the program. Contact us with more details on your turbine and certification to learn more about the benefits of certifying your turbine with ICC-SWCC.
My turbine is already certified in another country – does ICC-SWCC accept that certification?
ICC-SWCC may be able to use the test report and analyses submitted for certification in other global programs to support an ICC-SWCC application. But we do not automatically grant a certification under the ICC-SWCC program based on certification by another organization. We would be happy to review your existing certification and information through our Preliminary Review process to determine whether additional testing or data is needed. Contact us to learn more.
Where can I find information on the Federal tax credit for wind turbines?
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 2015-4 requires that small and medium distributed wind turbines, with a nameplate capacity of 100 kW and less, be certified in order to qualify for the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), currently set at 30%. The guidance requires that qualifying wind turbine manufacturers maintain certification to either:
(1) American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard 9.1-2009; or
(2) International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61400-1, 61400-12, and 61400-11.Note that the IRS is developing updated guidance for wind turbine eligibility as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. It has not yet indicated whether certification to ACP 101-1 will replace or be added to AWEA 9.1 certification for compliance purposes. Consult the latest releases from the IRS for more information. According to the current IRS Notice, the certification must be issued by an eligible certifier - 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. ICC-SWCC certifications help manufacturers meet these requirements. An April 2014 memorandum from the Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, also 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. 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). Disclaimer: All opinions and other postings, are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. You should consult directly with an attorney or accountant for individual advice regarding your particular situation.
Does ICC-SWCC test wind turbines?
ICC-SWCC does not conduct tests, but verifies and certifies test results submitted by approved, qualified third-party testing organizations. Applicants should obtain ICC-SWCC approval for the use of a testing facility before commencing work to ensure that the resulting test report can be used for ICC-SWCC certification. Click here for more information on wind turbine testing for certification.
Does ICC-SWCC develop the standards used for its wind turbine certifications?
No, ICC-SWCC is not a Standard Development Organization (SDO). The ACP 101-1 standard used for small wind turbines is developed by American Clean Power (ACP) under their ANSI-approved standard development procedures. The IEC 61400 standards used for medium wind turbines are developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) under Technical Committee TC 88. Click here for more information on the standards ICC-SWCC utilizes in its certification programs. ICC-SWCC staff participates in technical committees for the ACP and IEC Standards. ICC-SWCC is working diligently with other wind certification programs in Europe, Asia and North America to minimize the differences between country-specific requirements.
What is the difference between the Rated Power and Nominal Power for a certified turbine?
Small wind turbines certified to the ACP 101-1 standard are required to provide the Reference Power in kilowatts (kW) in the certification and on a consumer label. This standardized performance 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.
What are the benefits of ICC-SWCC certification?
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 sized turbines are eligible for ICC-SWCC’s small and medium wind certification programs?
Small Wind Turbine: Electricity-producing wind turbines with a swept area up to 150 kW are certified to the ACP 101-1 standard. Legacy certifications to the preceding AWEA 9.1 standard are provided for turbines up to 200 m2 swept area. Medium Wind Turbine: Electricity-producing wind turbines with peak power production from 150 to 300 kW are certified to one or more of the following standards: IEC 61400-12-1 (Power Performance), IEC 61400-11 (Acoustic Performance), and/or IEC 61400-1 (Design).
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.