California Energy Commission's Rule 21 Working Group determines that Nextek's grid-connected solar PV system does not require a utility interconnect agreement

Feb 24, 2005 – Oakland , CA . The California Energy Commission’s Rule 21 Working Group determined today that grid connected solar PV systems installed using the Nextek technology do not require a utility interconnect agreement.

The Rule 21 Working Group develops the interconnection requirements for distributed generation. It is made up of representatives from California utilities, regulatory agencies, and industry. California’s standards are used as a model by many other states. After analyzing the architecture this system, they recognized that Direct Coupled® commercial photovoltaic systems from Nextek do not require the reviews and approvals needed for all other grid-tied inverter-based systems.

Before Nextek, all grid-connected photovoltaic solar systems required an inverter. These inverters, converting the locally generated electricity to grid-compatible AC power, use energy themselves, need a utility interconnect agreement, and are required to shut down in the event of grid failure.

Now, with the Nextek Direct Coupled ® system, the DC (direct current) power generated by photovoltaic panels is used where, when, and how it is generated. This increases efficiency, enables the lights to stay on in a power failure, and eliminates the need for a utility interconnect agreement. Nextek’s listing on California Energy Commission’s ‘List of Eligible Inverters’ assures that it qualifies for state, local, and federal incentive programs.

Nextek identifies and powers DC (Direct Current) loads inside commercial buildings. Fluorescent lighting ballasts are replaced by high-efficiency DC ballasts and powered by the PV solar system at up to 98% efficiency. In addition to lighting, Nextek can power variable speed motor drives, DC computer power supplies, and other loads. Power for this system can come from solar panels, wind turbines, fuel cells, batteries, or any DC power generation equipment. The Nextek technology uses the locally generated power first, then uses grid power only when needed.

The Nextek Direct Coupled® photovoltaic system is currently operating in commercial establishments around the country including Target Stores, Whole Foods Markets, Inc., PowerLight corporate offices, an IBEW training center, the architectural firm of William McDonough + Partners, and more.

“Bypassing the interconnection agreement made the installation faster, smoother, and less expensive…” – Ray Hoyt, Lunardi’s Markets.

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