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07 January 2011

Six wind turbines secure feed-in tariff approval

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Certification for micro-turbines sparks hopes of increased demand, despite planning issues that could end up in court

The government's feed-in tariff incentive scheme for small-scale renewable energy installations entered a new phase over the weekend with the launch of an official list of six wind turbines eligible for the incentives.

To receive payments through the feed-in tariff schemes, wind turbines smaller than 50kW have to gain approval from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) as well as be fitted by an MCS-accredited installer.

However, due to the lengthy testing process required to ensure turbines perform as advertised, only a handful of turbines had achieved MCS accreditation when the feed-in tariff was launched in April last year.

As a result, the company operating the MCS produced a transition list of turbines that met a number of criteria and were seeking full certification, which were still allowed to qualify for the feed-in tariff.

However, the transition list was abolished on 1 January this year, despite the fact that only six models – manufactured, respectively, by UK firms Evance Wind and Proven Energy, US company Southwest Windpower and Denmark's Gaia-Wind – have obtained full MCS accreditation and are now eligible for the feed-in tariff.


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