Bill Text: NJ A3576 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires new photovoltaic installations to comply with most recent National Electric Code standards for rapid shutdown of photovoltaic arrays.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-02-25 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee [A3576 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-A3576-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 3576

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 25, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  NANCY J. PINKIN

District 18 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires new photovoltaic installations to comply with most recent National Electric Code standards for rapid shutdown of photovoltaic arrays.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning standards for photovoltaic installations and supplementing P.L.2009, c.33 (C.52:27D-141.1 et seq.).

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  The Legislature finds and declares:

     (1)  Fire safety is a vital goal with respect to the adoption of photovoltaic power to combat global warming by reducing carbon emissions throughout the State;

     (2)  Firefighters in New Jersey have faced electrical shock peril when encountering photovoltaic arrays, especially rooftop installations, at fire sites;

     (3)  Technologies exist today that are capable of providing enhanced fire safety in photovoltaic systems at a low enough cost to the developer or property owner that a transition to them is actually cost-effective without regard to firefighter safety concerns;

     (4)  Technological standards to enhance the rapid shutdown of photovoltaic arrays have been included in the 2017 edition of NFPA 70, the National Electric Code; and

     (5)  It is therefore reasonable, as a matter of public policy in order to enhance firefighter safety, for the State to require compliance with the most recent national safety standards concerning the rapid shutdown of new photovoltaic array installations.

     b.  In addition to standards adopted pursuant to Section 7 of P.L. 2009, c.33 (C.52:27D-141.7), the Department of Community Affairs shall issue regulations, to be effective on the first day of the fifth month next following the date of enactment of this section, requiring all applications for electrical permits for photovoltaic system installations, submitted on or after that date, to comply with NFPA 70 (the National Electric Code) Article 690.12(b)(2), notwithstanding that the compliance requirements for rooftop photovoltaic installations in the National Electrical Code itself is delayed until January 1, 2019.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     Rooftop photovoltaic arrays, which provide electricity to property owners from sunlight, are becoming popular as people seek ways to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their energy bills.  These photovoltaic arrays may pose an electrocution hazard to firefighters when responding to a fire incident, especially if the firefighters are unaware of the rooftop installation. Technical standards have recently been promulgated, in the 2017 edition of NFPA 70, the National Electric Code, for the rapid shutdown of photovoltaic array installations.  Compliance with these new standards will greatly reduce the risk of electrocution of firefighters responding to a fire scene.  This bill instructs the Department of Community Affairs to issue regulations requiring all applications for electrical permits for photovoltaic system installations, submitted on or after the first day of the fifth month next following enactment, to comply with the new rapid shutdown standards (even though the national code delays implementation of those standards until January 1, 2019).

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