NEIS Play Key Roll in Energy Storage Growth
Michael J. Johnston, Executive Director of Standards and Safety for the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), made presentations on codes and standards related to energy storage last week at the 2014 Energy Storage North America Conference in San Jose, CA, generating positive feedback among the event’s attendees.
Members of the storage industry were urged against creating their own standards and reminded that energy storage is not some “new high-tech industry” – it is electrical work performed routinely by qualified electrical contractors and electricians.
Part of the message in Johnston’s presentations emphasized that there are many opportunities for business in the energy storage segment of the electrical industry. Energy storage has fallen under the scope of the electrical business for more than 100 years. Johnston explains “the safety requirements for batteries and battery installations have been a part of the NEC since the 1897 edition.”
Energy storage techniques have been revitalized by the growing need for addressing demand response and helping businesses deal with issues related to smart grid initiatives and conformance with the Energy Conservation Act. “Energy storage will be an important component of this work both on the utility side and the customer side of the service point,” Johnston said.
National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS) have been published by NECA and used in the electrical construction industry for decades. The NEIS are approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). They contribute to and substantially complement the National Electrical Code (NEC), which is the basis for local electrical codes in states, counties, cities and towns across the U.S.
NECA 416, Recommended Practice for Installing Stored Energy Systems is in the development stage and will soon be prepared for the ASNI approval process after an industry review. Training and qualifying the industry for the installation, maintenance, repair and retrofitting of energy storage equipment will undoubtedly follow. NECA is prepared to be a leader in standards development for this important emerging energy technology.
Johnston chairs the Correlating Committee for the National Electrical Code. Johnston says “not only is NECA involved in developing an energy storage standard for its family of quality and performance-based National Electrical Installation Standards, but NECA members also assist in revising the NEC. It is anticipated that a new NEC article will be incorporated in the 2017 edition titled “Energy Storage Systems.” This article will include the essential safety requirements for a multitude of energy storage systems and equipment.
For more information on NECA and its programs, visit www.necanet.org. For information about the NEIS, visit www.neca-neis.org.
ABOUT NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION (NECA)
NECA is the voice of the $130 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA’s national office and 119 local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research, and standards development. For more information, visit www.necanet.org.