Solar program installation requirements review report published

Energy Trust’s Solar program completed a review of the Solar Installation Requirements in 2021, with three goals in mind: 

  1. Update the requirements to better reflect the current solar market and available equipment 
  2. Provide a voice for Solar trade allies in the process 
  3. Build a methodology to ensure continued regular updates going forward 

As part of this review, feedback was collected from Solar trade ally companies across the state, as well as subject matter experts representing a broad range of backgrounds and expertise, including local code officials, utility representatives, equipment manufacturers and system design specialists. The list of participants was assembled with consideration for the dynamic nature of the solar industry and the changing role of solar as a valuable distributed energy resource on the grid.

The information collected through this extensive effort led to recommendations that go beyond updating the Solar Electric Installation Requirements. Suggested enhancements for the Solar program also focused on trade ally satisfaction, installation verification, star ratings, system design, safety and code alignment, battery energy storage system design and installation, utility collaboration, and capturing smart inverter capabilities.

It’s important to note that the Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC), which contains the state’s solar building code requirements, is also being updated. The Solar program will ensure the Solar Electric Installation Requirements comply once building codes have been finalized.

Energy Trust’s Solar program is committed to continuous improvement and focused on making the program scalable and responsive to the changing needs of the solar industry and modern utility grid. The recommendations outlined in the report will be prioritized and incorporated into program changes that we will roll out in response to guidance from House Bill 3141. They will also help Energy Trust support a robust and diverse solar workforce installing  systems that increase equity, resilience and grid flexibility. Going forward, the Solar program plans to repeat the Solar trade ally survey annually, and conduct industry interviews every other year, to gather recommended improvements to the installation requirements. 

The full Solar Program Installation Requirements Review report is available on the Energy Trust website. Please contact the Solar team with questions about the findings or upcoming plans.