California’s aggressive inverter requirements under CA rule 21 deadline went into play on June 22, 2020.
Phase 2 communications requirement and phase 3 smart inverter requirements are now in effect. All major inverter companies that operate in California have been rolling out new inverters and firmware packages that abide by these new requirements.
Rule 21 contains provisions governing the multiple aspects of interconnection, including:
- Procedures and timeframes for reviewing applications.
- Fee schedules to process applications and perform impact studies.
- Pro forma application and agreement forms.
- Allocation of interconnection costs.
- Provisions specific to net energy metered facilities.
- Technical operating parameters.
- Certification and testing criteria.
- Technical requirements for inverters.
- Metering and monitoring requirements.
- Procedures for dispute resolution.
In September, The PUC revised its rule 21 storage interconnection policy.
The Revisions regarding the interconnection of energy storage systems include limited export to the grid and provide more clarity on how these inverters are expected to operate. With these regulations, easier and more cost-effective methods will be developed to limit export.
Major revisions include:
1. The option to include custom interconnection operation plans for energy storage systems. This allows storage systems to feed to the grid during high demand hours that will be beneficial to both the grid and the homeowner.
2. Allowing customers who request interconnection to view grid condition data to plan their energy usage from their storage systems around peak times, lightening the load on the grid.
3. More unique interconnection policies that compliment the advancements in modern storage systems.
Rule 21 is allowing smart inverters to be utilized at their full potential. With new application processes for energy storage systems, and more transparent grid data, California is on target to have a next generation energy grid with the ability for residents to customize their energy interactions with the grid.