Cities across Arizona, US, have drawn up laws to guide the deployment of energy storage systems following a grid-scale battery storage facility fire in April.
Peoria, Phoenix and Surprise are enacting new laws that require homeowners, businesses and schools to apply for permits when installing energy storage systems (ESS).
The cities used the International Fire Code as a basis for the laws, making small changes depending on the location.
The laws are the first time individual cities have introduced specific rules for battery energy storage. The National Fire Protection Association has federal standards for how to store and install batteries.
The laws are designed to allow first responders to know where the ESS is located in the case of a fire. Eight fire-fighters were hospitalised following the fire at the 2MW Arizona Public Service owned ESS facility in Surprise.
To receive building permits utilities must submit construction documents with the layout of the system, information about the batteries and details of the emergency system.
Utilities will also have to include a ventilation system that prevents the build up of toxic or combustible gases within the facility, and install a monitoring panel outside of the building showing the status of the equipment and environment.
For residential systems, battery systems cannot be stored inside the house, although Surprise and Peoria will allow residents to keep the batteries inside utility closets and garages.
Phoenix and Peoria residents must obtain a permit to install battery systems, although the rule is not retroactive. No permits are required in Surprise.
The permits will allow the fire department to keep track of which houses have installed batteries in case of fires.