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Alabama - Requirements for Solar Power Installation
Alabama State Rules and regulations regarding solar power Installations
The licensing of solar installers and solar panelinstallations are different from state to state and even county to county, but they generally cover these three things;
- Interconnection Regulations
- Licensing and or qualifications of Solar Installers
- Equipment Standards or Certification
Alabama has no specific licensing requirements for those wishing to install solar power systems except for the fact that the installation of solar power is considered electrical work and so normal state based licensing would require that the installer be a licensed electrical contractor in Alabama. Also there is no specific state wide standard for solar power equipment in Alabama but equipment would need to meet general requirements for electrical equipment in that state. Most states that have no standards rely on the California Energy Commissions approved products list. However, utilities and counties may have their own standards for equipment that they require and so it would be prudent for you to first check with your local electricity utility before purchasing any equipment. Alternatively, if you request quotes from local installers through this site they will be able to advise you of any applicable local equipment standards.
Interconnection Standards or Regulations
If a State does not have its own Interconnection regulations it is generally accepted that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or FERC's adopted interconnection standards will apply. FERC has noted that its interconnection standards for small generators should serve as a useful model for state-level standards. The FERC's standards include Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP) and a Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (SGIA). The SGIP contains the technical procedures that the small generator and utility must follow in the course of connecting the generator with the utility's lines. The SGIA contains the contractual provisions for the interconnection and spells out who pays for improvements to the utility's electric system (if needed to complete the interconnection). The standards include provisions for three levels of interconnection:
- The "10-kilowatt (kW) Inverter Process," for certified, inverter-based systems no larger than 10 kW;
- The "Fast Track Process," for certified systems no larger than 2 MW; and
- The default "Study Process," for all other systems no larger than 20 MW.
Those looking at installing solar power should make themselves familiar with their local Utilities rules and regulations.