September 29, 2023

Energy Storage Systems and Generators: Some Critical Distinctions

This short course will help you understand the distinctions between parallel power systems, such as a solar photovoltaic or battery energy storage system, and traditional optional stand-by power supplies, such as generators. Featuring Pete Jackson, Chief Electrical Inspector Bakersfield, CA

Among their many and varied duties, code officials work to keep up with changing technology. This means keeping tabs on the evolving clean energy industry and resources such as photovoltaics (PV), energy storage systems (ESS), wind energy, and other emerging energy technologies. In today’s dynamic energy environment, new methods have emerged for managing power sources and their integration into building wiring systems, as well as exporting surplus electricity generated onsite back into the utility grid.

Incorrect installations can result when the distinction between parallel power production sources like an energy storage system, and a generator-based optional standby system connected through a transfer switch, is not fully understood. 

This short course will clarify when a system is able to produce electricity in parallel with the grid and highlight the applicable code requirements for utility-interactive interconnected energy storage systems.

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This material was developed by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). It is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Award Number DE-EE0009455 (“EMPOWERED”). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Energy or the United States Government.