WASHINGTON - The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has released three new reports on the topics of interconnection and net metering, solar access laws, and utility external disconnect switches.

The first report, “A Comprehensive Review of Solar Access Law in the United States,” documents legal issues for solar access and solar rights and recommends language for model statutes that can be used by state and local governments to protect access to solar resources for new and existing buildings.

The second report, “Comparison of the Four Leading Small Generator Interconnection Procedures,” reviews and compares four sets of interconnection procedures that regulators commonly consider when developing their own state and local procedures. Effective interconnection procedures, says Solar ABCs, will help to encourage solar projects.

The third report, “Utility External Disconnect Switch: Practical, Legal, & Technical Reasons to Eliminate the Requirement,” documents the safe operation of photovoltaic (PV) systems without a utility external disconnect switch (UEDS) in several large jurisdictions. It explains the rationale for eliminating UEDS. Among the reasons presented are: its functionality is redundant, it fails to provide expected protections, and it adds unnecessary cost to a PV system.

Solar ABCs is a collaborative effort among experts to formally gather and prioritize input from the broad spectrum of solar photovoltaic stakeholders including policy makers, manufacturers, installers, and consumers resulting in coordinated recommendations to codes and standards making bodies for existing and new solar technologies. The DOE funds Solar ABCs as part of its commitment to facilitate widespread adoption of safe, reliable, and cost-effective solar technologies.

All three of the new reports are available at the Solar ABCs Website at www.solarabcs.org.

Publication date:11/17/2008