A new study conducted by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which oversees the state’s electric grid, First Solar, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), points to the untapped potential of utility-scale solar facilities and their ability to provide important services needed to ensure the stability of the state’s electric grid.
According to an article posted in the EC Energy Collective, the findings of this new study have significant implications for the integration of not just solar power but of all renewables on California’s grid. California is charged with ensuring that at least 50 percent of its electric generation be driven by renewables by 2030. The challenge for the state will be to find new ways to balance this generation and load with managing the variability of increased renewable generation to maintain grid reliability.
The California Building Standards Commission (CBSC), the state agency responsible for statewide adoption, has requested that NFPA provide 2017 NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC) pre-adoption training for its five state agencies later this year, illustrating their willingness to look at the requirements prior to the start of the state’s next triennial adoption cycle. There are five new NEC articles that cover topics not addressed by the most recent edition of the California Electrical Code, which is based on the 2014 NEC. These include articles addressing large-scale photovoltaic (PV) electric power production facilities and new technologies like energy storage and direct-current microgrids.
The CBSC, in coordination with the Sustainable Energy Action Committee (SEAC) developed a CBSC information bulletin 16-02 to support the need for TIAs covering Energy Storage Systems (ESS) and PV requirements issued by NFPA for the 2014. SEAC is comprised of a broad cross-section of the industry and their focus includes supporting requirements for and implementation of energy storage systems and PV systems.
From NFPA’s perspective, it’s a promising sign that regulators and the private sector in California recognize the value of the 2017 NEC changes including PV and other sources of alternative energy. Their willingness to move forward with the TIAs for the California Electrical Code to reflect some of the important 2017 PV and ESS requirements speaks positively to the investments states are making to keep up with the newest advances in the industry.
In must be noted, too, that in addition to one state (Massachusetts) that has completed its 2017 adoption process, there are 23 other states that are in the process of updating their statute or administrative rule through which the NEC is adopted to reference the 2017 edition.
For more information, read the full article with links to the report, and let us know you thoughts.
Photo courtesy of EC Energy Collective.