For Immediate Release: July 27, 2011
Media Contact: Amy Morgan - 916-654-4989
Energy Commission Staff Files Complaint
Against Small Wind Turbine Company
SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission staff filed a complaint against DyoCore, Inc., a Carlsbad-based small wind turbine manufacturer, for allegedly violating the intent of the State's renewable energy rebate program. The staff complaint, filed under the Commission's regulations (Section 1231), requested the DyoCore SolAir turbine be immediately removed from the Commission's list of eligible equipment for grossly overstating the turbine performance.
"DyoCore actions have negatively impacted legitimate competition under this program, since other providers of small wind systems are unable to compete with DyoCore's low-cost systems - claims that are based on a false premise," said Robert Oglesby, Energy Commission Executive Director. "We engaged a third-party technical consultant, KEMA, who verified that DyoCore's claim is 7.5 times greater than theoretically possible."
Since 1998, the Energy Commission's Emerging Renewable Program has provided rebates and production incentives to 577 customers who purchased and installed small wind systems for on-site electricity generation. The Energy Commission temporarily suspended the program in March 2011 to address program deficiencies, as staff was flooded with more than 1,000 rebate reservations for small wind systems using DyoCore turbines. Under program rules in place at the time of the suspension, small wind systems using DyoCore turbines could qualify for as much as $28,000 in rebates, which could cover the full cost of the system and essentially provide free systems to consumers.
The DyoCore SolAir is currently listed as eligible equipment for the program with a rated output of 1.6 kilowatts (kW) at 18 miles per hour based on information and data submitted to the Commission by DyoCore. Multiple companies have alleged that this rated output is a gross over-statement of what the SolAir turbine can generate at that wind speed.
Staff directed its technical contractor, KEMA, to analyze the data submitted to the Commission by DyoCore and available from DyoCore's website to assess the SolAir turbine. KEMA's analysis concluded DyoCore's claim of 1.6 kW power output at 18 miles per hour is 7.5 times greater than theoretically possible at that wind speed and 9 times greater than the optimal output of a state-of-the-art turbine rotor with the same diameter.
To date, approximately 33 systems using DyoCore turbines have been installed and $515,385 in rebates paid. Another 249 rebates reservations for systems using DyoCore turbines have been approved for $6,393,544 but not paid and 1,069 rebate applications using DyoCore turbines have been received and are pending review totaling $31,220,976.
In the complaint, the Energy Commission staff has requested that all action necessary be taken to recover the rebate funds that were paid for the small wind systems using the DyoCore turbine and, if appropriate, that this matter be referred to the Attorney General for investigation and prosecution. Commission staff has also requested guidance regarding the resolution of pending applications for rebate reservations and payment requests for small wind systems using the DyoCore turbine.
The Energy Commission will open a proceeding to take action on the complaint. If the complaint is determined to be complete and have merit according to the Commission's regulations, it will be formally served upon DyoCore. A Commission committee may then be assigned by the Commission to conduct a public proceeding to consider the complaint.
The complaint and KEMA's analysis are available at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/renewables/emerging_renewables/index.html
WebEx audio of July 27 staff's informational presentation is available at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/business_meetings/index.html
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