Like to Rip Van Winkle , the U.S. Distributed Energy Resources (DER) industry has awakened from a 90-day slumber to find that things look familiar and yet everything has changed. DER systems (rooftop solar PV, energy storage), once deaf and dumb, must now be intelligent, grid supportive, and communicating all the time. New state and national standards rule the land and a new language must be spoken:

  • The California Rule 21 Phase 2 (and part of Phase 3 for some reason) interconnection regulation becomes effective on June 22, 2020. This event introduces the requirement that all DER systems, and the inverters incorporated within, must demonstrate the capability to communicate using IEEE 2030.5 protocols and the Common Smart Inverter Profile (CSIP). Products that meet the criteria are listed on the new California Energy Commission website, thus making them eligible for installation.
  • National Electrical Code (NEC) 2017, and its clause 690.12 requiring PV module level rapid shutdown, became effective on January 1, 2020 in 34 states. This event makes it certain that Module Level Power Electronics (MLPE) will become the norm for rooftop applications.
  • IEEE 1547.1-2020, the test and compliance criteria for the IEEE 1547-2018 standard, was published on May 21, 2020. This event starts an 18-to-24 month clock for DER equipment manufacturers to deliver new products and a 50-state implementation plan as required by federal law.

About California Rule 21: the word of the moment is "attestation" and a key ingredient is a growing list of SunSpec Certified products that comply with IEEE 2030.5/CSIP . See the article on this topic below and contact us if you have any questions.

The SunSpec Rapid Shutdown ecosystem is growing and expanding to fill the industry's need for low-cost, interoperable, multi-vendor solutions. Check out the brand new SunSpec Rapid Shutdown web site and please join the SunSpec Rapid Shutdown Group on LinkedIn that we set up to educate the market.

Publication of the IEEE 1547.1-2020 standard came in a little earlier than expected, providing certainty for the U.S. market. IEEE 1547 specifies SunSpec Modbus as a "required" standard interface option (along with IEEE 2030.5 and IEEE 1815). We're preparing for increased activity in this area with new software tools that go into beta this month ( contact us for details ) along with new SunSpec DER information models and a new web services interface to complement SunSpec Modbus.

Finally, cybersecurity has grown from a curiosity to becoming a leading consideration in energy policy. To become informed about this important topic, please consider taking a SunSpec course on this topic (delivered as part of our U.S. Energy Department sponsored Cyberguardians program) or join the SunSpec/Sandia Cybersecurity Work Group to help define practical and scalable solutions.

Tom Tansy
SunSpec Alliance
California Rule 21 Phase 2 Goes Into Effect This Month:

Attestation requirements kick in and new CEC Equipment List is published.

On June 22, 2020, California Rule 21 Phase 2 (and part of Phase 3) communication requirements go into effect. After that time, any solar inverter or energy storage system installed in California must have "demonstrated the capability" to communicate using IEEE 2030.5 protocols and the Common Smart Inverter Profile (CSIP). Proof can be achieved by connecting a DER power conversion product to a SunSpec Certified client gateway or aggregator that supports IEEE 2030.5/CSIP , running an ad hoc test, having an attestation letter written by a testing authority or the IEEE 2030.5/CSIP product provider, and providing this documentation to the California Energy Commission (CEC). It is a somewhat complicated process and we are happy to offer guidance to members who ask for it.

Successful applications will be listed on the  new CEC Solar Equipment Lists  website. This new web site codifies information that was previously best understood only by attendees of the CA Rule 21 Smart Inverter Working Group and links to other important information of interest to manufacturers and installers (like attestation forms!). We salute the CEC for completing a successful roll out of this site!
SunSpec Rapid Shutdown Ecosystem Doubles as Companies Embrace Certification

The SunSpec Alliance is pleased to report that six additional SunSpec
members have announced products and services supporting the SunSpec Communication Signal for Rapid Shutdown standard, bringing the size of the SunSpec Rapid Shutdown ecosystem to 12 companies.

Since it launched the SunSpec Communication Signal for Rapid Shutdown standard, the SunSpec Alliance has continued to hone and simplify the SunSpec Certification process and interoperability program. Important advancements include supporting the test requirements with the UL 1741 standard and mobilizing a co-operative marketing and educational program to raise the visibility and awareness of SunSpec Rapid Shutdown solutions. SunSpec has also recently enhanced its local support capabilities for manufacturing partners in Asia.

To learn more about SunSpec’s Rapid Shutdown specification and certification program, visit the SunSpec Rapid Shutdown website !
IEEE 1547.1-2020 Officially Published!

On May 21, 2020, the  IEEE 1547.1-2020 standard  was officially published, making smart inverters with standard communication interfaces the official U.S. national standard for Distributed Energy Resources (DER). 

The publication of this test procedure document is significant for a variety of important reasons:

  • It validates the pioneering California smart inverter effort by incorporating the electrical functionality defined in CA Rule 21 and by naming the IEEE 2030.5-2018 protocol–the default DER-to-utility communication protocol chosen by California–as a U.S. national standard. It also clarifies the timeframe for CA Rule 21 phase 3 capabilities.

  • It also establishes SunSpec Modbus as a natural option for meeting IEEE 1547 data communication requirements at the device level.

  • It sets the stage for a 50-state rollout, and perhaps global rollout, of interoperable and fully-communicating smart inverters.
Welcome New Members of the SunSpec Alliance!

The SunSpec ecosystem continues to grow with three new members this month!
AISWEI (Solplanet) specializes in developing and manufacturing photovoltaic inverters, building on the success of the Zeversolar range of inverters from the SMA Group. A leader in China’s photovoltaic industry, AISWEI (Solplanet) brings solar energy to global users, offering a full range of 1kW to 80kW photovoltaic grid-connected inverter products, energy storage and energy management system.
Ningbo Deye inverter technology Co., ltd, founded in 2007, is one of the high-tech enterprises subordinate Deye technology group. The company has passed the certification of national double soft enterprise, and owns Zhejiang provincial engineering technology center. Since its establishment, Deye has been committed to DC inverter controller development, solar inverter production and system integration.
Fermata Energy was founded for the dual purposes of accelerating the adoption of EVs and accelerating the transition to a renewable energy future. Their technology provides EV owners with an additional revenue stream for their vehicles: as energy storage. By allowing EVs to provide power to buildings and stored energy to the grid in addition to receiving it, Fermata hopes to make EVs cost competitive and increase adoption of renewable power.

New SunSpec Certified Products

Certificate Number: RS-000010
Manufacturer: Fronius International GmbH

Profile: Transmitter
Products: Primo GEN24

Certificate Number: CS-000020
Manufacturer: LG Electronics, Inc.
Profile: Client
Products: EnerBox2
Certificate Number: CS-000021
Manufacturer: Ningbo Ginlong Technologies Co., Ltd.
Profile: Aggregator
Products: Ginlong Soliscloud IEEE2030.5 Client Aggregator
Secure Communication Networking for Distributed Energy Resources

This online, nine-week course offered through UC San Diego Extension is intended to provide current and future engineers working in the distributed energy industry with the information they need to design products that incorporate secure communication networking and deploy networks that incorporate these products. The course will also cover considerations associated with integrating the operations of utilities and network aggregators.

To register for the course, click here !
Introduction to Distributed Energy Resources in the Electric Grid

Offered online through UC San Diego Extension, this course is an introduction to Distributed Energy Resources (DER) in the electrical grid and the standards that inform DER deployment. The course requires no prior knowledge of the topic and is intended for students who are interested in exploring technical (e.g. engineering, chemistry, software), professional (e.g. architecture, marketing, finance), and operational (e.g. accounting, logistics) careers in the rapidly growing distributed energy industry.

To register for the course, click here !
Introduction to Cybersecurity in the Smart Energy Environment

Offered online through UC San Diego Extension, this course will introduce participants to cybersecurity topics including the purpose cybersecurity, what are the cybersecurity threats, and how do we protect against them. Some of the key components of cybersecurity such as encryption and the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) will be examined in detail. Finally, the course analyzes and applies cybersecurity specifically in the Smart Energy DER use case and the IEEE 2030.5 communication standard.

To register for the course, click here !
Upcoming SunSpec Work Groups

Attention SunSpec Members! Gain access to valuable information by joining a SunSpec Work Group. Upcoming Work Group Meetings include:

If you are not a SunSpec Alliance member but would like to participate in our work groups, consider joining and help us shape interoperability specifications for the DER industry!
Follow SunSpec on Social Media!

The SunSpec Alliance hosts a thriving ecosystem of industry news, educational opportunities and technical resources. SunSpec's social media channels are constantly updated with new content and are a valuable platform for our Members and followers to engage with one another. We encourage you to please follow our channels and join our special interest groups on LinkedIn!
Accepting Member Contributions for SunSpec News

As a Member of the SunSpec Alliance, your news and updates are valuable to the SunSpec ecosystem. We invite all Members to submit press releases, events, and news updates to us via the Member Portal on our website. We will do our best to promote relevant items through our channels and media outlets in hopes of growing the ecosystem and expanding the Distributed Energy industry!
If you are not a SunSpec Alliance member but would like to submit news to the SunSpec ecosystem, consider joining and help us shape interoperability specifications for the DER industry! | 408-217-9110 | View as Webpage