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The Impact of California Rule 21 on IoT, DERs, and Utilities

The impact of California Rule 21 is astounding. 


Distributed Energy Resources, including solar, energy storage, and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, are revolutionizing how electricity is generated and consumed across the globe. California is leading the energy revolution and has policies in place that require 100% of the energy generated in California come from renewable sources by the year 2045. A significant portion of this capacity will come from DER installed on homes, commercial buildings, and campuses.


To achieve DER deployment goals, California modified interconnection Rule 21 to require that all systems installed after August 22, 2019, be capable of communicating with the host utility. The default DER-to-utility communication standard is IEEE 2030.5. Configuration options stipulated the Common Smart Inverter Profile (CSIP) document refine California requirements.


California Rule 21 states that products using the communication standard must be evaluated against the SunSpec Common Smart Inverter Profile Conformance Test Procedures that were published May 22, 2018. These procedures define the functional criteria for CA Rule 21 data communication and interoperability testing.


Given state policy mandates, approximately 250,000 DER systems per year (those installed in Investor-Owned Utility territories) will require SunSpec Certification to the IEEE 2030.5/CSIP standard.


In just a few short years, millions of systems must comply with these standards.