Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), working with partners around the world, have developed an international quality standard for manufacturing photovoltaic (PV) modules.

The standard supplements the existing ISO-9001 and was jointly developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International PV Quality Assurance Task Force (PVQAT). The new standard appears in Terrestrial Photovoltaic (PV) Modules - Guidelines for Increased Confidence in PV Module Design Qualification and Type Approval.

Guidelines cover:

  • Testing PV modules for adequate durability for climate zone, mounting configuration
  • Ensuring consistent manufacturing
  • Ensuring the final system functionality

Standards detail how manufacturers:

  • Address potential failure modes, in the design, production, application, and delivery
  • Obtain IEC certification
  • Implement ongoing reliability test program that monitors PV modules performance
  • Improve product traceability through the entire supply chain for recalls, warranty claims

Pass-fail requirements, a checklist, and guidance on how factory audits are completed have been drafted and are in the process of being adopted to help ensure consistent implementation of the new standards, known as IEC 62941. www.nrel.gov

Delaware Riverkeeper Network files lawsuit against FERC

A Pennsylvania-based Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) lawsuit alleges the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval process for jurisdictional pipeline projects is infected by structural bias, violating due process rights in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

DRN is seeking a declaration that FERC engages in a biased process, one which deprives DRN and its members of its aesthetic, recreational, liberty, and/or property interests without due process and causes irreparable harm. Additionally, DRN seeks a declaration that FERC’s reimbursement funding structure is unconstitutional; a declaration that FERC’s ability to grant the power of eminent domain is unconstitutional; and/or a declaration that FERC’s authority to preempt local and state laws with regard to natural gas pipelines is unconstitutional. www.delawareriverkeeper.org

FERC rejects gas pipeline project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has rejected Canada-based Veresen Inc.’s proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline project in Oregon due to lack of contracts from buyers and potential problems with its pipeline link to tap western Canadian and U.S. Rockies supplies.

In May 2013, the Jordan Cove Energy Project filed an application to site, construct, and operate a LNG export terminal and associated facilities on the North Spit of Coos Bay, Oregon.

In June 2013, Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP filed an application to construct and operate an interstate natural gas pipeline originating near Malin, in Klamath County, Oregon, terminating at the Jordan Cove LNG terminal. The Pacific Connector Pipeline, was set to transport natural gas to the Jordan Cove terminal for processing, liquefying, and exporting.

Veresen officials said they will file for a rehearing with FERC. www.ferc.gov