Regional Test Centers Expand US Small Wind Certification Testing

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and DOE’s Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program announced the selection of four partners to establish small wind Regional Test Centers (RTCs) to conduct tests on small wind turbines to meet national and international standards.

These awards provide funding, training, and technical support for each Regional Test Center to conduct testing of two small wind turbines to support the burgeoning U.S. small wind turbine market.

Award recipients are Intertek Testing Services NA Inc. in New York, Kansas State University, The Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M University and Windward Engineering LLC in Utah.

The Regional Test Center project goal is to support the U.S. small wind market by increasing the number of organizations qualified to conduct small wind turbine standards testing and to drive down the cost of this testing. Test Results are used by certification bodies, such as the Small Wind Certification Council, to certify small wind turbines for durability and performance. 

Certification testing allows small wind turbine buyers to make informed choices and provides states with the data needed to determine turbine eligibility for incentive programs.

Using DOE funding, NREL issued a request for proposals on Oct. 16, 2009 to establish regional test centers. Submissions were received until the December 8, 2009, closing date. Testing is scheduled to begin later in 2010 and will last approximately 12 to 18 months.

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