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Question about 120 percent NEC rule with Tesla Gateway 2

wwhitney

Member
Nov 2, 2017
857
1,118
Berkeley, CA
So, I think it's actually a lot of people at PG&E who do not want customers going green unless they jump through every hoop imaginable. If PG&E can burden the project, they will.
That is disappointing to hear.

As a practical matter, if you had to this all over again, you'd have the option to do the "like for like" replacement as a separate repair ahead of time, and then pursue the PV and ESS, right? Nobody's brought up anything that would be an obstacle for that path, have they?

Cheers, Wayne
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,487
873
East Bay NorCal
That is disappointing to hear.

As a practical matter, if you had to this all over again, you'd have the option to do the "like for like" replacement as a separate repair ahead of time, and then pursue the PV and ESS, right? Nobody's brought up anything that would be an obstacle for that path, have they?

Cheers, Wayne


Yes, if I had split this into two projects technically that would have been safer.

But some PG&E folks have insisted if they come out to do a disconnect and see a bunch of solar panels being unloaded and a stack of Powerwalls; they could still override the solitary "like for like" permit and determine the installer was trying to skirt the system. So the installer technically needs to do the MSP work on a separate day of the PV/ESS install and also finish/re-stucco things before the PV/ESS work begins.

But, I've also heard from other PG&E people that the intention of the like-for-like was not meant to encourage installers to get crafty. The intention of the like-for-like is to allow reasonable accommodation for projects that don't involve an upgraded service or make the situation more risky. And no, the new main service panel isn't supposed to be considered part of the "generation equipment" even if they have to affix all those fancy stickers and placards on it.
 
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Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
1,873
2,197
Silicon Valley, CA
Yes, if I had split this into two projects technically that would have been safer.

But some PG&E folks have insisted if they come out to do a disconnect and see a bunch of solar panels being unloaded and a stack of Powerwalls; they could still override the solitary "like for like" permit and determine the installer was trying to skirt the system. So the installer technically needs to do the MSP work on a separate day of the PV/ESS install and also finish/re-stucco things before the PV/ESS work begins.

But, I've also heard from other PG&E people that the intention of the like-for-like was not meant to encourage installers to get crafty. The intention of the like-for-like is to allow reasonable accommodation for projects that don't involve an upgraded service or make the situation more risky. And no, the new main service panel isn't supposed to be considered part of the "generation equipment" even if they have to affix all those fancy stickers and placards on it.

This is perhaps one reason why some AHJ (like walnut creek) require all MSP upgrades to be on a separate permit.
 
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holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,487
873
East Bay NorCal
@bmah

If you want to feel better that another CoCo home has a bunch of unnecessary boxes... sunrun is going to install 3x 30A blade disconnects INSIDE my garage next to the Powerwalls.

So now I have a Gateway outside with breakers for all the PV and Powerwalls... and inside are 3 Powerwalls and 3 disconnects. Naturally if I had to do t his over again I'd just move the Gateway indoors and put the 3 blade disconnects outside next to the big 200 A disconnect that PG&E wants and Enphase combiner box. Hell I might as well add a 60 A blade disconnect for the PV source too. Blade disconnects everywhere.

Even though CoCo said they were fine with a sub panel within line of sight using OCPD’s as disconnects under NEC 706.7, Sunrun is sticking it to everybody (mostly me I guess) with blade disconnects. They won’t do the smaller 30A pullable disconnect or the rotating type of disconnect. It’s gotta be a knife blade type. In my garage.

Ugh.
 
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bmah

Moderator, Model S/X, California Forums
Mar 17, 2015
3,937
7,089
Lafayette, CA, USA
If you want to feel better that another CoCo home has a bunch of unnecessary boxes... sunrun is going to install 3x 30A blade disconnects INSIDE my garage next to the Powerwalls.

My sympathies. Doesn't it suck to be a homeowner who just wants this stuff to work? :mad:

Bruce.
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,428
412
auburn, ca
@bmah

If you want to feel better that another CoCo home has a bunch of unnecessary boxes... sunrun is going to install 3x 30A blade disconnects INSIDE my garage next to the Powerwalls.

So now I have a Gateway outside with breakers for all the PV and Powerwalls... and inside are 3 Powerwalls and 3 disconnects. Naturally if I had to do t his over again I'd just move the Gateway indoors and put the 3 blade disconnects outside next to the big 200 A disconnect that PG&E wants and Enphase combiner box. Hell I might as well add a 60 A blade disconnect for the PV source too. Blade disconnects everywhere.

Even though CoCo said they were fine with a sub panel within line of sight using OCPD’s as disconnects under NEC 706.7, Sunrun is sticking it to everybody (mostly me I guess) with blade disconnects. They won’t do the smaller 30A pullable disconnect or the rotating type of disconnect. It’s gotta be a knife blade type. In my garage.

Ugh.
My design folks are taking no chances and adding a blade disconnect per battery, I assume outside. we will put the gateways and generation panels on the inside. Yep, going to have a wall of blade disconnects.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
1,873
2,197
Silicon Valley, CA
Don't forget about the 200A big honknin' disconnect that PG&E requires:
https://www.pge.com/includes/docs/p...lity/electrictransmission/handbook/060559.pdf

Less than 5% of our jobs with 400A services end up with a bladed lockable 'big honkin' AC disconnect. Only the older service panels with bolt on meters get the short end of the stick.

I dislike the "take no chances" approach, but I appreciate a bulletproof installation that passes inspection on the first time. My company wants to install the fewest number of additional pieces of equipment in almost every case. A deep understanding of the code and a good relationship with the AHJ is key to that. Even then I sometimes am too conservative, but I am always learning.

Still, its often easier to throw money at disconnects than change minds.
 
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holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,487
873
East Bay NorCal
Sent this to the engineer.


I hope you get the exemption granted by PG&E so you don't need this... The thing is obnoxious and seems to accomplish nothing that the main breaker or pulling the meter from its socket doesn't already accomplish. And PG&E is going to disconnect service at the street anyway if they ever did any work on my local transformer.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,428
412
auburn, ca
I hope you get the exemption granted by PG&E so you don't need this... The thing is obnoxious and seems to accomplish nothing that the main breaker or pulling the meter from its socket doesn't already accomplish. And PG&E is going to disconnect service at the street anyway if they ever did any work on my local transformer.
Did you get an exemption? If so, what did you have to do or ask or say?
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,487
873
East Bay NorCal
Did you get an exemption? If so, what did you have to do or ask or say?


No, PG&E never responded to me about my request to get an exemption. And Sunrun makes the 200 A big honkin' disconnect standard equipment for all of their installs because Sunrun is still thinking "solar first". With solar-only installs, this big blade would solve both PG&E's need and also give a firefighter one obnoxiously large thing to throw to safely power down the house. Enphase's anti-islanding shuts off the DC side of the inverter if the AC side is de-coupled.

But for me, I have now have a stupid-large box that is like the size of 3 Gateway 2's sandwiched together on the side of my house that has a stupid lever on it. It's dumb. Sunrun doesn't want to take any chances of failing PG&E's PTO inspection.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,428
412
auburn, ca
No, PG&E never responded to me about my request to get an exemption. And Sunrun makes the 200 A big honkin' disconnect standard equipment for all of their installs because Sunrun is still thinking "solar first". With solar-only installs, this big blade would solve both PG&E's need and also give a firefighter one obnoxiously large thing to throw to safely power down the house. Enphase's anti-islanding shuts off the DC side of the inverter if the AC side is de-coupled.

But for me, I have now have a stupid-large box that is like the size of 3 Gateway 2's sandwiched together on the side of my house that has a stupid lever on it. It's dumb. Sunrun doesn't want to take any chances of failing PG&E's PTO inspection.
Nuts. sent all this info to the engr. Sure do not want to fail and have to rewire. I have heard PGE is so busy they do not inspect much?
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
1,873
2,197
Silicon Valley, CA
The exemption language is right there in the PDF, page 3 of 6. 100% of the time you know if PGE needs a bladed lockable disconnect. Post a picture of your meter and service panel and we will know 100%
List of questions:
1. Is the meter self contained? (Not transformer rated)
2. Is the meter not a bolt on?
3. Is the meter CL320 or less rating?
4. Is the service 120/240 or 120/208 split phase?

If yes to all questions, no Bladed Locakble AC disconnect is needed from the utility. The AHJ or NEC may still require them depending.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,487
873
East Bay NorCal
The exemption language is right there in the PDF, page 3 of 6. 100% of the time you know if PGE needs a bladed lockable disconnect. Post a picture of your meter and service panel and we will know 100%
List of questions:
1. Is the meter self contained? (Not transformer rated)
2. Is the meter not a bolt on?
3. Is the meter CL320 or less rating?
4. Is the service 120/240 or 120/208 split phase?

If yes to all questions, no Bladed Locakble AC disconnect is needed from the utility. The AHJ or NEC may still require them depending.


You should consider the part of that section on page 3 that reads "Applicants... may be exempted from installing a disconnect switch, as determined by PG&E..."

PG&E still gets to choose whether to grant the exemption even if you meet the described criteria. Like they could choose to stick it to you for having your shirt buttoned incorrectly or by having your house painted grey. Because they don't need a reason to mess with a homeowner or Sunrun other than ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Sunrun stock is up over 200% in the last 6 months; TSLA is up like 300%. PG&E is gonna hate on these companies (and their customers) all day long since everybody is an unfortunate customer of PG&E.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
1,873
2,197
Silicon Valley, CA
You should consider the part of that section on page 3 that reads "Applicants... may be exempted from installing a disconnect switch, as determined by PG&E..."

PG&E still gets to choose whether to grant the exemption even if you meet the described criteria. Like they could choose to stick it to you for having your shirt buttoned incorrectly or by having your house painted grey. Because they don't need a reason to mess with a homeowner or Sunrun other than ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Sunrun stock is up over 200% in the last 6 months; TSLA is up like 300%. PG&E is gonna hate on these companies (and their customers) all day long since everybody is an unfortunate customer of PG&E.

I can only explain that from my experience after drawing plans for and getting permits for over 1000 Powerwalls and many megawatts of PV they stick very strictly to those exemptions in my experience. Maybe Sunrun really flips their switch or yanks their chain or... you get the idea.

I know your experience is different, and that sucks.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,487
873
East Bay NorCal
I can only explain that from my experience after drawing plans for and getting permits for over 1000 Powerwalls and many megawatts of PV they stick very strictly to those exemptions in my experience. Maybe Sunrun really flips their switch or yanks their chain or... you get the idea.

I know your experience is different, and that sucks.


Yeah Sunrun hasn't been the best toward PG&E either. I know I'm biased against PG&E but I do admit Sunrun is a corporate cluster as well. If only there was a good local company that had the buying power to obtain Powerwalls, employed good smart employees, and would do the three-course-mastic racking on flat tile roofs in East Bay :( :( :( :( :(

Here's a fun read if you're bored.
What Happened When I Bought a House With Solar Panels
Code:
https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2019-sunrun-solar-panels/


The part to enjoy is the section that brings up:
Power Play 2.0: The Guide to Successfully Sell Sunrun
It (the Guide) instructs salespeople to sow distrust in and disdain for traditional utilities and appeal to customers’ emotions. Over 61 pages, pain is cited at least 31 times and fear at least a dozen. When reviewing a customer’s traditional utility bill, the trainee is told, “amplify the pain significantly.”

You can tell some clever corporate group came up with this. It's got MBA+Consulting written all over it haha. Calling it "Tears" instead of "Tiers" got me to chuckle.
sunrun_playbook_crop_3.jpg

But, I've worked in enough industries to know inflicting pain on customers and clients to monetize is much more common that you'd think.

(Lynn) Jurich called pain a “fair characterization of the experience that people have” paying their utility bills. “We are selling a substitute for traditional electricity, so you would want to demonstrate why your product is a superior product.” Spokeswoman Georgia Dempsey later followed up in an email: “‘Uncovering Pain’ is widely attributed to David Sandler, who introduced the Sandler Selling System,” she wrote. “Sandler defines Pain as ‘finding the prospect’s reason to buy and gaining a commitment to resolve any issues keeping the prospect from greater success.’
 
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Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
1,873
2,197
Silicon Valley, CA
Yeah Sunrun hasn't been the best toward PG&E either. I know I'm biased against PG&E but I do admit Sunrun is a corporate cluster as well. If only there was a good local company that had the buying power to obtain Powerwalls, employed good smart employees, and would do the three-course-mastic racking on flat tile roofs in East Bay :( :( :( :( :(

I have to say, you're right. I'm pushing to pick flat tile retrofits again, but as it stands its work we might decline today unless you were explicit you wanted the company I work for, and were ready to let us hire local roofers to do the 3 course under flashing and lead primary flashings.

I hate the slimy sales tactics. Obviously they work but don't feel great.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,428
412
auburn, ca
No, PG&E never responded to me about my request to get an exemption. And Sunrun makes the 200 A big honkin' disconnect standard equipment for all of their installs because Sunrun is still thinking "solar first". With solar-only installs, this big blade would solve both PG&E's need and also give a firefighter one obnoxiously large thing to throw to safely power down the house. Enphase's anti-islanding shuts off the DC side of the inverter if the AC side is de-coupled.

But for me, I have now have a stupid-large box that is like the size of 3 Gateway 2's sandwiched together on the side of my house that has a stupid lever on it. It's dumb. Sunrun doesn't want to take any chances of failing PG&E's PTO inspection.
This is what I got back from the engineer. They are the experts, so will keep my fingers crossed


We shouldn't need one. We've done many installs without having to install a 200A disconnect.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
1,873
2,197
Silicon Valley, CA
I have had some success with locking hardware eliminating point disconnects for powerwalls, though AHJ approval is as varied as the AHJ.

I just have to follow the code, and gently argue for what's right when it makes sense.

Here's what it looks like on a Quad 30A /30 Breaker.
BRLW.jpg


Overall its a good option and wherever I can and the AHJ allows, I will remove equipment off the wall. Customers don't want more bladed disconnects, and I don't want to install them. I will not sacrifice safety, but this is pretty much a slam dunk in my opinion.

Good thing my gloved hands are slender.
 

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