SunSpec Alliance Releases Renewable Energy Standards Proposal

The SunSpec Alliance, a consortium of companies focused on defining open standards to accelerate the renewable energy industry announced that it has delivered its first set of proposed communication standards for equipment used in renewable energy systems.

The initial SunSpec specification is now open for public comment, enabling all interested individuals and organizations a chance to review and provide feedback on the proposed standards.

The goal of the SunSpec: Modbus Specification is to create a common language that all renewable energy component manufacturers can adhere to in order to enable interoperability amongst all compliant technologies. The goal, according to SunSpec, is to remove the barriers that currently prevent the industry from being able to integrate distributed photovoltaic (PV) power generation systems cost-effectively and on a large-scale basis.   

“Without standards that enable all solar and renewable energy components to work together, the growth of the  industry will continue to be hindered by high costs and non-interoperability,” said Tom Tansy, chairman of the SunSpec Alliance. “Just as networking standards were necessary to enable the mass rollout and adoption of the Internet, the SunSpec Alliance is developing renewable energy component standards that will allow equipment from different vendors to interoperate and provide the rich dataset essential to monitoring and management of renewable energy assets.”  

The primary benefits that the SunSpec Alliance intends to provide the industry include:

  • Defining open interface standards for the renewable energy industry, enabling systems to interact with information technology systems in a predictable and reliable manner
  • Driving down construction costs, as standards-based systems can be installed more quickly
  • Reducing cost during operation, as standards lead to shorter learning curves as well as the interoperability of previously disparate management systems
  • Making appropriate use of standards created by other standards bodies, agencies and associations
  • Promoting the ratification, approval and adoption of such specifications recommendations developed by the SunSpec Alliance to manufacturers, systems integrators and regulatory agencies, and energy consumers
  • Establishing certification guidelines and procedures to ensure compatibility and interoperability of the standard recommendations among third party products

Companies in the industry are looking at the Modbus Specification as a way for them to grow their businesses and make installing systems easier than it is now.

“Premier Power applauds the efforts of the SunSpec Alliance to bring data standards to the renewable energy industry.  Monitoring and reporting of production energy is essential to our operations.  By using products that support the SunSpec Alliance standards, we can be confident that they will work together and benefit from the lower cost and increased functionality,” said Michel Maxsom, director of operations for Premier Power, a leading solar plant EPC and operator.

To download the SunSpec: Modbus Specification, click here.

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