Lets Get Technical

A blog about codes, standards, and best practices for solar, energy storage, and microgrids

Let's Get Technical

A blog about codes, standards, and best practices for solar, energy storage, and microgrids

Justine Sanchez Joins NEC Code-Making Panel 13

Earlier this year, I applied to be on the National Electrical Code (NEC) Code-Making Panel 13 (CMP13). I was informed a few weeks ago that my nerdy aspirations had come to fruition. 

In my current job as Solar-Plus-Storage Program Director at Mayfield Renewables, I work with system owners, PV designers, ESS equipment manufacturers, contractors and installers to facilitate project development while ensuring ESS projects meet National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and standards. The majority of these energy storage systems are intended to increase facility resiliency, and as such, I have become familiar with NEC Articles under the purview of CMP13, such as Articles 480 Storage Batteries, 700 Emergency Systems, 701 Legally Required Standby Systems, 702 Optional Standby Systems, 706 Energy Storage Systems and 750 Energy Management Systems.

I have found that the increased interest in having backup power available is spurring rapid development and deployment of new ESS products and projects with PV system designers who may be familiar with certain NEC Articles, such as 690 PV Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems and 705 Interconnected Electric Power Production Sources (both of which are handled by CMP4). But these same designers may not be well-versed in other critical Articles under CMP13 jurisdiction. It is through this perspective that I was drawn to work with CMP13. In part, I wish to help clarify Code sections that are causing industry confusion, but I am also concerned that homes and businesses—along with electrical workers and facility personnel—could be on the receiving end of accidents and hazards posed due to, among other things, a lack of Code understanding that could be caused by this confusion.

Previous job titles and responsibilities during my industry tenure have included Senior PV Technical Editor, Master Technical Trainer, Curriculum Developer, PV System Designer, and Certified PV Installer. Through my current position and these previous roles, I have cultivated a deep working knowledge of how ESS projects are being developed and deployed in both the residential and commercial sectors. I felt my experience writing and editing technical content, along with training PV and ESS designers and performing plan set reviews with an eye for NEC compliance may be useful to CMP13, as I would be able to draw upon my ESS knowledge and these particular skill sets to assist working task groups in evaluating submitted public inputs to resolve or to help establish revisions for future NEC editions.

In the coming years, the NEC will continue to evolve to address new equipment innovations and safety measures, as it has since its inception in 1896. It is a living document, and there will always be lag time between new electrical market and product innovations and perfected Code language to address all cases and installations. While I am stepping in mid-cycle as the first draft of the 2023 edition of the NEC is already developed and is quickly moving toward a finalized second draft, I am looking forward to “learning the ropes” in the NFPA standards development process. I am honored and humbled to be part of NEC evolution.

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