DOE's NREL Seeks Proposals for Independent Testing for Small Turbines

July 16, 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for commercially available small wind turbines to be tested at NREL's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC).

The objective of the RFP is to provide high-quality, detailed and independent test results for a number of small turbines. This will allow the turbine manufacturers an opportunity to earn a certification granted by an independent certification body; this organization is being formed by the Small Wind Certification Corporation. The Corporation is a non-profit organization led by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, with support from DOE's Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), states energy offices and wind turbine manufacturers.

NREL will evaluate turbines based on testing protocols (defined in detail by IEC standards) and by the latest draft AWEA standard for small wind turbines. Tests will include duration, power performance, acoustic noise emissions, safety and function, and power quality.

The RFP targets commercially available small wind turbines that have a high probability of success in the US market over the next several years.

Up to eight small turbines will be selected for testing, for which DOE's is expected to contribute up to $800,000. The value of each award will be dependent on the size of the turbine and the installation requirements. Each award recipient is expected to deliver a complete system to the NWTC and assist with installation and maintenance.

See the full RFP.