Wind Turbine Generator Safety Compliance in the United States and Canada

9th March 2012
Source: Intertek
Posted By : ES Admin
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is expecting to achieve 20% wind energy or 300 GW of wind generating capacity by 20301. Unlike many traditional energy sources, the challenge to achieve this goal is not related to availability of raw materials but rather increasing the manufacturing capacity of wind energy generation equipment.
“Achieving 20% wind energy will require the number of turbine installations to increase from approximately 2000 per year in 2006 to almost 7000 per year in 2017.” 2

The rapid increase in the annual number of wind turbine installations will draw more manufacturers of Wind Turbines Generators (WTG) and components into the U.S. and Canadian markets. However, before a manufacturer can take advantage of this growing opportunity they need to be familiar with the regulatory
requirements pertaining to these markets.

As background, before a WTG can begin operating it must comply with national, state/province and local electrical codes. The person responsible to make this determination is an Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). In the case of WTGs the AHJ is an electrical inspector.

An AHJ can call upon the National or local Codes or Standards as they relate to the WTG as the basis for denying approval to begin operating the unit. If an AHJ challenges a WTG’s compliance to Code the manufacturer is required to make the necessary equipment or installation corrections to satisfy the AHJ’s local code requirements. This must be satisfied before the WTG can begin operating. These corrections often require extensive equipment modifications which can result in costly delays. By understanding of the regulatory issues related to WTGs manufacturers can avoid many potential AHJ objections and unnecessary costly delays.

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