Standard for wind turbines kicks in

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme or MCS has now come of age and should mean consumers get peace of mind when buying a wind turbine. The MCS is a voluntary industry […]

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By Sumit Bose

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme or MCS has now come of age and should mean consumers get peace of mind when buying a wind turbine.

The MCS is a voluntary industry standard which was set up jointly by DECC and manufacturers. It’s designed to give consumer protection when buying a turbine, solar panels, hydro or heat pumps for home electricity generation. Additionally, MCS certified products will qualify for Feed In Tariffs and this April’s Reneweable Heat Incentive.

As of Jan 1st the MCS closed its Transition List, which means all products now listed on the site have been tested and approved. The list was an interim measure which allowed manufacturers to sell products which were still in development or being tested with the proviso they were in line for certification.

Brendan McGarry of the MCS told ELN why the list closure was a good thing: “The list closure means consumers have now greater reassurance. All the products listed have passed full testing so what you see is what you get. The list was good at the time it was set up in 2008, as it gave manufacturers time to get their products known in a new industry while they went through testing. But after two extensions it was closed on 31st December.”

Mr McGarry denied closing the list stopped competition: “I’m sure consumers would prefer to choose from a list of 10 fully tested products than 50 that you’re not fully sure about. It doesn’t mean new manufacturers can’t get their products to market, they can apply and get tested.”

Smaller manufacturers who signed up early to the MCS have welcomed the closure of the list. Kevin Parslow, CEO of Evance Wind said: “It’s been a long time coming but the abolition of the MCS Transition List means that finally those looking to invest in small wind have a benchmark for quality.

“We know the importance of giving consumers peace of mind, that’s why we invested in testing early, resulting in our wind turbines being accredited under the MCS scheme since July last year. Now, with the removal of the Transition List, the confusion around who is accredited and who isn’t has gone and consumers can breathe a sigh of relief and make the right choice when it comes to small wind power generation.”

The MCS is a national scheme for the UK but has been open to international manufacturers provided they meet the correct criteria and testing.