AE 868
Commercial Solar Electric Systems



Lesson 9 Scenario

You are working on the electrical design for the same PV system as you did in Lesson 8. As you complete the NEC design for the PV array, you reach the point of interconnection with the utility grid at the meter side. You ask yourself, "What are the requirements and methods to hook the PV system up to the grid? Is it as simple as connecting the power terminals to the utility meter? Or does it require a detailed study of the existing electrical service?"

In case the site evaluation documents provided by the sales team are missing the information regarding the main service distribution panel, what information do you need to gather from the site to be able to proceed with the electrical design? Do you need to consult with the utility plan reviewers to check on any additional requirements for interconnection? How can the customer sell back the produced energy from the PV system?

In this lesson, we will discuss issues related to the interconnection requirements and methods according to the NEC that will answer these questions. In addition, you will be prepared to complete the electrical permitting documents required before the installation process. PV designers and installers need to comply with the interconnection requirements referenced in the National Electrical Code (NEC) and IEEE standards to ensure the systems function properly and avoid safety hazards.

Learning Outcomes

At the successful completion of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Identify grid interconnection codes and standards for distributed generations DG.
  • Identify and compare types of grid interconnection methods according to NEC article 690.
  • Compare utility requirements for PV System interconnection at different locations in the US and how they affect PV design and installation.

What is due for Lesson 9?

Lesson 9 will take us two weeks to complete. Please refer to the Calendar in Canvas for specific timeframes and due dates. Specific directions for the assignments below can be found within this lesson and/or in Canvas.

Complete the following Lesson Assignments:

  • Read through the Lesson Content
  • Complete the Required Reading Assignments:
    • Chapter 12, Photovoltaic Systems by James P. Dunlop (text)
  • Look over the Recommended Reading:
  • Participate in the Lesson 9 Discussion
  • Submit PV System Electrical Design Project
  • Take the Lesson 9 Quiz in Canvas


If you have lesson specific questions, please feel free to post to the Lesson 9 Questions discussion forum in Canvas. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help a classmate with a question. If you have questions about the overall course or wish to share and discuss any "extra" course related commentary (interesting articles, etc.), please feel free to post to the General Questions and Discussion forum.