2017 National Electrical Code Changes

Source: NFPA

New NFPA 70: National Electrical Code changes affect off-grid energy solutions such as energy storage systems.

Jesse Roman writes from the National Fire Protection Association Journal:

Source: NFPA

Source: National Fire Protection Association

“Improved technology and plummeting costs have driven a surge in privately owned wind and solar power generation as more businesses and individuals view energy self-sufficiency as economical and strategically smart. This hodgepodge of new electrical generation is an ever-growing and important piece of the nation’s energy pie, supplementing power from traditional utilities.

The changing landscape has caused electrical experts to re-imagine the future of the electrical grid, and has been one of the main drivers for three of the most important proposed additions to the 2017 National Electrical Code® (NEC®). More and larger consumer-owned power generation has caused the NEC’s code-making panels to consider systems and circumstances they never had previously. […] Three of the five new proposed articles in the 2017 NEC are a direct consequence of this trend: Article 691, “Large-Scale Photovoltaic”; Article 712, “Direct-Current Micro-grids”; and Article 706, “Energy Storage Systems.”

Other changes to the NEC include improved labeling requirements for systems and an external shut-off for first responders on new residential structures. The changes are the result of an extensive vetting process by NFPA members, which were given opportunity for public input, comments and voting. On June 17, 2016, the NFPA passed the 2017 National Code at the NFPA Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, NV.