Codes, Standards, and Regulations

Following the DOE Energy Storage Safety workshop, two short-term activities were initiated to foster efforts to address energy storage system safety. One of these was the publication of a document to help with the understanding of codes, standards and regulations development and deployment — a topic that is somewhat complicated and yet very important for everyone who plays a role in ESS development and deployment to understand. The other activity is focused on a companion document that will inventory codes, standards and regulations applicable to ESS and describe experiences to date in securing approval for ESS installations.

  • Codes 101: Overview of Development and Deployment of Codes, Standards and Regulations Affecting Energy Storage System Safety in the United States
    • Purpose

      The purpose of this document is to acquaint stakeholders and interested parties involved in the development and deployment of energy storage systems (ESS) with the subject of safety codes, standards and regulations (CSR) that can impact their activities. It is hoped that after review of this document, those stakeholders and interested parties will have a more in depth and uniform understanding of safety CSR. This understanding can foster improved communications among all ESS stakeholders and enable collaboration in order to realize more timely and appropriate acceptance and approval of safe ESS technology through CSR.

    • Scope

      This document addresses the manner in which CSR that contain minimum safety requirements applicable to ESS are developed and deployed in the United States. It is recognized that the development and deployment of CSR internationally at the national, regional or global level are also of relevance and interest to the ESS industry, stakeholders and interested parties. The immediate need for this document in supporting the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) ESS Safety Roadmap efforts suggests that the focus for the first version be limited to the United States and extended and enhanced in the future to address international CSR efforts. One exception is the inclusion of US efforts associated with relevant standards development at the global level through the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

  • Inventory of Safety-related Codes and Standards for Energy Storage Systems 

    One of the most urgent needs identified at the DOE OE Energy Storage Safety Workshop is the need for a standardized body of metrics and criteria that, when satisfied, effectively supports the successful deployment of energy storage systems. The safety-related codes, standards and regulations (CSR) currently available do not provide criteria to specifically address the entire range of ESS technologies or options/scenarios available for ESS installation. This means each system may need to be evaluated for approval on an individual basis by federal, state or local regulatory authorities, utilities and others who are faced with development of their own safety-related criteria in the absence of updated CSR upon which to base their review and approval of ESS with respect to safety.

    The work being conducted to update CSR to more appropriately address ESS can help eliminate what would otherwise be a wide range of variations in the criteria governing the design and construction of energy storage systems and the manner in which they must be installed. The availability of a uniform, cohesive and up-to-date set of CSR to address ESS safety can help to reduce ESS costs and streamline system deployment.

    • Purpose

      The purpose of this document is to identify laws, rules, codes, standards, regulations (CSR) and associated requirements related to safety that could apply to stationary energy storage systems (ESS), as well as describe experiences to date securing approval of ESS from those who have adopted and are applying CSR. This information is intended to assist in securing approval of ESS under current CSR and to foster the updating, revision, and enhancement of CSR to enable timely and appropriate approval of ESS with respect to safety.

    • Scope

      This document contains three separate but interrelated areas of focus.

      • Current CSR documents that could apply to ESS have been identified and the scope of each document is presented. Areas in those CSR that might need revision and relevant thoughts about moving forward to revise and/or apply the document are presented.
      • Experiences securing approval of ESS under current CSR are provided. Details associated with the information and documentation needed to secure approval of ESS is available, along with descriptions of any challenges associated with the approval.
      • Information needed to secure the approval of an ESS application on the basis of equivalency with current CSR that may not specifically address the intended ESS technology is available to guide approval of ESS under current CSR.