Washington & Oregon Defer Arc-Fault and Rapid Shutdown Rulings

From WA L&I “Electrical Currents” May 2015 Newsletter:

Note From the Chief – Solar Photovoltaic Rules Delayed
After extensive research into product availability, and feedback from
stakeholders, in accordance with National Electrical Code® (NEC®) 90.4, I
have made the decision to extend the delay in implementation of three
requirements for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems until July 1, 2016. The
three requirements are 690.11 Arc-Fault Circuit Protection (Direct Current),
690.12 Rapid Shutdown of PV Systems on Buildings, and 705.12(D)(6) Wire
Harness and Exposed Cable Arc-Fault Protection. Oregon has a similar delay
in implementation of these rules. This approach will ensure that the
products currently under development to meet these requirements will be
certified by an accredited product testing laboratory as meeting appropriate
electrical product safety standards. Enforcement of these requirements will
begin July 1, 2016. Due to the delay in implementation of 690.12 Rapid
Shutdown requirements, the 2011 NEC® 690.31(E)(1) requirement to route
Direct-Current PV source and output circuits at least 10 inches below roof
decking or sheathing when installed inside a building will be enforced until
the Rapid Shutdown requirement takes effect on July 1, 2016.


This ruling is a sigh of relief. Whenever new technology is implemented to solve a perceived problem the first few month (years) of implementation can be very painful as the technology struggles to provide a real wold solution. This ruling by Washington State will allow the industry to catch up technically with the code and hopefully come out with a reliable, cost effective solution in the mean time.

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Solarizing the Planet – Starting with Your House

Why solar maters for the modern world.

We were asked to give a solar talk at the Tri Cities TriConf2015
Day/Time: Saturday July, 8 @ 10:00 am
Length: 20 minutes (lots of Q&A)
Track: Community/Issues/Sustainability
Location: Richland Public Library, Room A

Richland Solar Home

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Electrathon Rally at CBC Pasco, April 25th, 2015

When: April 25th, 2015. Annual Event.

From 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM

Where: CBC Parking Lot
2600 N. 20th Avenue
Saraceno Way off of W. Argent (North side)
Pasco, Washington  99301
United States

Todd Blackman

Todd Blackman
Phone: 509-539-8078

Mid-Columbia Electric Vehicle Association
Garrett Brown, President
Cell Phone:  509-713-0806Electric Auto Association

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Solar Back-Up Without Batteries

SMA Sunny Boy inverters allow up to 1500W of back up power for when the sun is shining and the grid is down. This revolutionary new technology give homeowners added security and value from their grid tied solar array. Watch this short video to find out how it works:

To find out what items you can run with this back up receptacle you can use this handy Wattage Calculator from Consumer Reports.

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Solar Seminar In Pendleton, OR Feb 26

Pendleton has an exciting history of utilizing renewable resources. Hire Electric is pleased to partner with the city in offering an informational seminar on the benefits of going solar in Eastern Oregon. We’ll be meeting at the Pendleton Convention Center, 1600 Westgate Avenue, new east wing conference room. Date: Thursday, 2/26.  Time: 6 pm to 8 pm.

Come find out about the incentives that are still available:

  • $.75/watt from Energy Trust of Oregon
  • $6000 Residential Energy Tax Credit – off your Oregon State Taxes
  • 30% Federal Tax Credit
  • 0% Interest Loan Program from the City of Pendleton

Find out more here: http://www.pendleton.or.us/energy/solarize img-i-helped-solarize-pendleton-orPNG

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GO! Solar in The Gorge! Kickoff Feb 3rd.

Hire Electric is super excited to be part of this great campaign to solarize our community.

Sign up for GO! Solar by March 30 to take advantage of bulk discounts.

With support from Northwest Solar Communities, Gorge Owned (GO!) is working with local solar contractors to offer discounted, bulk rates on solar panel installations to Gorge homeowners in Klickitat, Skamania, Wasco and Hood River counties.

GO! Solar is a community “solarize” initiative aimed at helping Columbia River Gorge homeowners overcome the barriers associated with investing in solar power. Local contractors and suppliers are working together to offer a simplified process and unbeatable prices. In addition to state, federal and local incentives, GO! Solar can reduce total project cost by up to 20%. The catch: Homeowners have to sign up for the program no later than March 30, 2015 to guarantee the bulk discounts.

“Going solar pays off in a number of ways,” says Amanda Lawrence, Gorge Owned Membership and Program Director. “It reduces your monthly utility bills, increases your home value, reduces your dependence on fossil fuel and, if done through GO! Solar, supports the local economy.”

Learn more about GO! Solar at a community launch party, Tuesday, February 3, from 6-8 pm, at Full Sail Brew Pub (506 Columbia St., Hood River). Learn about financial incentives for solar, meet the local contractors delivering the program and have your questions about solar answered by regional experts. Participants can also enjoy light appetizers and beer courtesy of Full Sail.

Gorge Owned is planning additional events in Klickitat and Wasco Counties in February. Details will be announced atwww.gorgeowned.org/programs/go-solar/


Event Details

What: GO! Solar Launch Party

When: Tuesday, Feb., 3, 2015, 6-8 pm

Where: Full Sail Brew Pub, 506 Columbia St., Hood River  

Follow Up Meetings: 

  • February 10th, The Dalles, Clocktower Ales, 311 Union Street from 6pm – 7:30pm
  • February 12th, White Salmon, Columbia Bank Community Room, 390 NE Tohomish St, 6pm – 7pm
  • February 17th, Goldendale, Klickitat PUD Community Room, 1313 South Columbus Avenue 6pm – 7:30pm

About Gorge Owned

Gorge Owned is a 501.c.3 member-supported organization with a mission to strengthen connections between the people, natural environment and economy of the Columbia River Gorge. With more than 200 individual and business members, GO! delivers year-round programing that informs and inspires people to invest in a vibrant community, healthy environment and strong local economy. Programs include Gorge Green Drinks, Sense of Place Lecture Series, GO! Local Campaign, and Gorge Earth Day.

Learn More: GorgeOwned.org

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Real Time Wind Data in Walla Walla

Being able to remotely monitor energy systems – especially for commercial or educational sites where someone may not be paying attention to the energy production (or lack or production), is very important. You can view the live wind data from the Bergey wind machine we installed last summer at Walla Walla Community College here: http://mybergey.aprsworld.com/A4094

APRSWorld is a hardware plus cloud based software solution that provides inverter direct monitoring for energy production and faults as well as anemometers and weather instrumentation so that you can compare inverter output with environmental conditions.

Walla Walla Community College is using their Bergey wind machine and APRS’s real time data to train the next generation of energy workers in their award winning Electrical Training Program. 

10kW Wind Machine at Walla Walla Community College

10kW Wind Machine at Walla Walla Community College


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New Solar Array at Yakima Valley CC

We just finished this 15kW solar array on the roof of the new Palmer Martin Building at Yakima Valley Community College. We used SolarWorld 280 watt mono solar panels, Unirac UL-A racking system and Enphase M250 Micro Inverters. YVCC 15kW Solar YVCC Electrical Gear YVCC I Beams


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USDA REAP Grant Workshops in Washington

FREE Workshops

November 20, 2014, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

USDA Service Center
1606 Perry Street
Yakima, WA 98902

509-454-5743, ext. 134

December 4, 2014, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Grant County Public Works
Building 124 Enterprise Street SE
Ephrata, WA 98823



Renewable Energy and Efficiency Grant Proposals Workshops about Financial Incentives for Farms, Ranches, and Rural Small Businesses.

USDA Rural Development is sponsoring two Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency workshops The workshops are FREE and include information about the funding available to farms, ranchers and small businesses through USDA’s Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP). Eligibility requirements and sample project proposals will be discussed.

The 9007 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program can pro-
vide guaranteed loans, grants, and a combination loan and grant to eligible applicants for eligible projects and costs. Eligible projects for renewable energy systems include such things as wind, solar, biomass, or geothermal systems. Energy Efficiency projects, for example, can be for such things as upgrading electrical motors, insulation, or heating, cooling and lighting upgrades.

These workshops will provide information for prospective applicants on the USDA Rural Development Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency program, including:

• Eligible Loan/Grant Purpose

• Financial Information

• Application Tips

• Eligible Applicants

• Maximum Loan and Grant Amounts

• Funding Availability

For additional information, please contact the specialist serving an area closest to you:

Eastern Washington

Roni Baer


(509) 454-5743, Ext. 134

For information about Oregon’s REAP program contact:

John Holman

Business Programs

Rural Development – Oregon

United States Department of Agriculture

1201 Northeast Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 801 |Portland, OR 97232

Phone: 503.414.3369 |E-mail: john.holman@or.usda.gov

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/OR_Home.html  | “Committed to the future of rural communities”

Hire Electric can provide evaluations, technical assistance, and installation for on farm energy systems of all types.

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Heat Pump Hot Water = Big Savings

Hire Electric is partnering with GE to offer the new GeoSpring Heat Pump Hot Water Tank. Heating water is the #2 energy consumer in most homes. New Heat Pump hot water technology is 50% more efficient than traditional hot water tanks at heating water – saving you lots of money every year.

For our solar customers who are looking to net zero their electric bill without converting load to fossil fuels, a heat pump hot water tank is one of the best ways to move in that direction.

Visit the GeoSpring site for more information. Find out more at www.smartwaterheat.org

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