Tag Archives: Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)

Solar will rebound this year with more than 100 GW of new capacity

By Max Hall, PV Magazine International

Wood Mackenzie’s number-crunchers are the latest analysts queueing up to predict a bumper year ahead for PV, with falling prices, rising efficiency rates and booming markets outside China all on the cards. And it could be a make-or-break year for mega-projects, says Wood Mac.
Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

Additional Recommended Reading
Trends Shaping the Global Solar Market in 2019, Greentech Media
In a new report (available for free), we highlight the top 10 trends to watch in solar this year. Below, we highlight five of them.


After a colossal year of energy policy activity across the states, IREC calls out some favorite 2018 success stories in our 2019 Clean Energy States Honor Roll, announced today.


Platte River Power Authority plans for zero carbon emissions by 2030, The Rocky Mountain Collegian
Northern Colorado is working to get a whole lot greener. The Platte River Power Authority board of directors
passed a policy for zero carbon emissions by 2030,
following Colorado State UniversityFort Collins and
Longmont’s goal of 100 percent renewable electricity by the same year.

  • Central Idaho Animal Shelter Will Open New Facility Powered By Solar Energy, Boise State Public Radio. The Mountain Humane Animal Shelter was the first no-kill shelter in the state. They can add another superlative to their credentials: Their new facility will be run entirely with solar energy.
  • N.C. College To Reap Financial Benefits Of New Solar Project, Solar Industry
    Contributing to the college’s mission to lead the educational and local community in more
    sustainability practices, the solar farm will raise approximately $40,000 annually in solar-
    generated revenue. 
  • FPL partners on Shark Valley Solar Energy Project at Everglades National ParkMiami’s
    Community Newspapers. 
    It’s an intriguing fact of nature that alligators, the ubiquitous denizens of the Everglades, are solar powered, with scaly skin that optimizes the sun’s rays to maintain
    energy. Now, thanks to a grant and new solar panels donated by Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), solar energy will power the Shark Valley Visitor Center in Everglades National Park, where hundreds 
    of thousands of visitors can learn fascinating facts about solar energy, alligators and the Everglades.
  • A change in energy,  Albuquerque Journal
    On the renewable energy front, state officials want new mandates to require utilities to derive 50 percent of their electricity from solar, wind and other clean resources by 2030, and possibly 80 percent by 2040.

Seven steps to community solar

By John Weaver, PV Magazine

Nationwide, over 220 utilities offer community solar programs across 36 states, and a growing number of rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, and investor owned utilities are exploring or implementing community solar program offerings. Currently there is only around  1 GW of community solar installed, but some see a path toward 84 GW by 2030.

To assist in reaching this ambitious goal, Vote Solar and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) have released their Checklist for Voluntary Utility-Led Community Solar Programs. The document divides its advice into seven sections: Continue reading here.

IREC Photo

How Much Power is 1 Gigawatt?, U.S. Department of Energy


IREC and Vote Solar will host a joint webinar on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 12pm Central Time to discuss the recently-released Checklist for Voluntary Utility-Led Community Solar Programs and other shared renewables tools, including IREC’s National Shared Renewables Scorecard and Shared Renewables Policy Catalog. To register, click HERE.

About IREC
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council increases access to sustainable energy and energy efficiency through independent, fact-based policy leadership, quality workforce development and consumer empowerment. A not-for-profit organization since 1982, IREC’s state-by-state work and national leadership make clean energy possible and reliable, including for low- to moderate-income customers and underserved communities. Learn more at www.irecusa.org

About Vote Solar
Since 2002, Vote Solar has been working to lower solar costs and expand solar access. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Vote Solar advocates for state policies and programs needed to repower our electric grid with clean energy. Learn more at www.votesolar.org

Considering a career in renewable energy? Check out these maps.

Solar Career Map

The Solar Career Map was developed by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). As National Administrator of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network, IREC worked with solar and workforce experts around the country — leaders from education, government, business, labor, and community — to produce this highly-acclaimed interactive tool.

About The Interstate Renewable Energy Council
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), an independent not-for-profit organization since 1982, makes clean, efficient, sustainable energy possible for more Americans through forward-thinking regulatory reform, quality workforce development and consumer education.

Wind Career Map

The Wind Career Map was developed by the Wind Energy Technologies Office in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE). The map explores an expanding universe of wind energy occupations, describing diverse jobs across the industry, charting possible progression between them, and identifying the high-quality training necessary to do them well.

See Also: Workforce Training and Education

About The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The mission of EERE is to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy. Its vision is a strong and prosperous America powered by clean, affordable, and secure energy.

Infographic: To date, third-party evaluations have assessed one-third of EERE’s research and development portfolio and found that an EERE taxpayer investment of $12 billion has already yielded an estimated net economic benefit to the United States of more than $230 billion, with an overall annual return on investment of more than 20%. 

See EERE’s list of strategic goals and links to more information here.

IREC’s 2017 Clean Energy States Honor Roll

ALBANY, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–After a year with a dizzying volume of energy policy activity across the states, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) calls out some favorite success stories, in its 2017 Clean Energy States Honor Roll, announced today. IREC is a 35-year-old national independent not-for-profit organization that works state by state to increase consumer access to clean renewable energy through fact-based policy leadership, quality work force development, and consumer empowerment. Continue reading here.

New Guiding Principles for Shared Renewable Energy Programs Released by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)

The national market for shared renewable energy programs has grown significantly since the launch of IREC’s Model Rules for Shared Renewable Energy Programs in 2009 and the update of those rules in mid-2013. Today, there is increasing interest in shared renewables, along with many more mandatory statewide and voluntary utility programs. This week, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) releases Five Guiding Principles for Shared Renewable Energy – to provide a timely update to the guiding principles that appeared in IREC’s original model rules.

Tools You Can Use for Community Solar – Free Webinar

The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative’s Solar in Your Community Challenge aims to make solar more accessible and inclusive for every American.

Join the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) for Tools You Can Use for Community Solar webinar on December 15th from 2 to 3:15 p..m. to learn more about available tools and resources to help you apply for the challenge and be successful in building your community solar challenge program or project.

The webinar will provide an overview of a newly created Community Solar Toolkit, as well as some case studies featuring innovative tools and approaches to advance community solar projects and programs across diverse markets. There will be ample time for Q&A.



Overview of Solar Market Pathways Community Solar Toolkit, Sara Baldwin Auck, IREC
Community Solar Portal and Cost Tool for Cook County, Illinois, Vito Greco, Elevate Energy
New York Solar Portal, Allison Silverman, City University of New York (CUNY)
Community-based Bulk Purchase Campaigns, Kate Bowman, Utah Clean Energy

See our website calendar for additional details. 

In Illinois, new rules expected to make solar faster and cheaper

Written by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

Illinois lawmakers have adopted new interconnection standards that will make the solar siting and installation process significantly quicker and cheaper, clean energy advocates and utilities say. The Illinois state standards, adopted Oct. 11, are based on a rule establishing best practices that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) adopted in late 2013. The standards are being held up as a model for other states, including Iowa and Minnesota, which are currently going through interconnection rule-making processes. Click to read more.

Photo: Solar panels at the University of Illinois campus in Champaign. Credit: santontcady / Creative Commons

Freeing the Grid, referenced in the article gives Nebraska a grade of “B” for net metering and an  “F” for interconnection and makes the following recommendations to improve state standards:

  • Remove system size limitations to allow customers to meet all on-site energy needs. (Currently limited to 25kW).
  • Credit net excess generation at the customer’s retail rate with indefinite rollover. (Currently credited to customer’s next bill at avoided-cost rate).
  • Remove the aggregate capacity limit. (Currently 1% of utility’s average monthly peak demand).

Freeing the Grid is produced by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and Vote Solar, with analysis provided by EQ Research.

How to Bring Shared Renewables to Low-Moderate Income Consumers

Shared Renewable Energy-IREC
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s new report, Shared Renewable Energy for Low- to Moderate-Income Consumers: Policy Guidelines and Model Provisions provides information and tools for policymakers, regulators, utilities, shared renewable energy developers, program administrators and others to support the adoption and implementation of shared renewables programs specifically designed to provide tangible benefits to LMI individuals and households.

“Designing scalable shared renewable energy programs and facilitating LMI customer participation in these programs are mutual goals for many states and other stakeholders,” says Erica Schroeder McConnell, an attorney for IREC and major contributor to the document. “Taken in concert with IREC’s existing Model Rules for Shared Renewable Energy Programs, these LMI guidelines and model provisions are intended to help inform the development of programs that achieve both goals going forward.”

Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Website: www.irecusa.org

IREC Launches A New Solar Career Mapping Tool & Videos

Click image to link to the Solar Career Map website.

Click image to link to the Solar Career Map website.

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has just launched a new, highly interactive Solar Career Map designed for workforce professionals, educators, policymakers and job seekers.  It explores an expanding universe of solar-energy occupations, describing diverse jobs across the industry, charting possible progression between them, and identifying the high-quality training necessary to do them well.

Central to the new career-mapping tool is a series of compelling videos with solar instructors and other professionals who describe jobs, skills, credentials and education across a variety of solar careers.

The result of extensive national expert input and close review by partners in industry and education, the interactive platform offers a broad vision of the solar industry, from manufacturing and design to installation and operations.

The Solar Career Map and videos are available at www.irecsolarcareermap.org

Veteran Affairs Approval Processes, the GI Bill and Solar Training – Free Webinar

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 / 1:00-2:00 PM CDT

Key to the solar industry’s continued growth is the next generation of skilled professionals to support its technologies. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently launched a pilot solar installation training program to provide military veterans transitioning out of active duty with the skills needed to become the leaders of the nation’s clean energy economy. The Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) is playing an active advisory role in the development of the pilot project. According to the White House, the SITN aims to train 50,000 new solar installers in total by 2020, some of who will be veterans. Since 1944, millions of veterans have used GI Bill education benefits to attend colleges, universities and other kinds of training programs.

In this webinar, the Department of Veterans Affairs will present how institutions and programs can secure VA approval so that veterans can use the GI Bill education benefits for solar workforce skills training.

The webinar is free, but you must register to attend. This webinar will be recorded and archived on the IREC website. See also: SolarCity and Employment Opportunities for the Solar Workforce – free webinar

Mark A Brenton, Management & Program Analyst, Department of Veterans Affairs, Education Service
Mark has been with the Department of Veterans Affairs for eight years. He is currently a Management & Program Analyst on Central Office’s Contract Management Team. Previously, Mark was the Education Liaison Representative (ELR) for Virginia before becoming the Supervisory ELR for the Buffalo Regional Processing Office. Mark recently retired from the USAF Reserve after 21 years of service both Active Duty and the Reserve Component. Mark is a graduate of the University of Dayton. He currently resides in Virginia with his family.

About the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN)
The Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) supports the professional development of instructors who train the nation’s solar workforce on photovoltaic (PV) and solar heating and cooling (SHC) installations.  The Network consists of a National Administrator and nine Regional Training Providers who will collaborate to develop model curricula and train local instructors.  The network was developed to address a critical need for consistent, high-quality solar installation training across the nation and was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy for five years.  It will provide community colleges, trade unions and other groups with high-quality training models and instructional support, in an effort to expand the nation’s trained solar workforce and ensure a high standard for all solar installations. www.sitnusa.org

About Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)
IREC believes clean energy is critical to achieving a sustainable and economically strong future. To pave this clean energy path, IREC works to expand consumer access to clean energy; generates information and objective analysis grounded in best practices and standards; and leads programs to build a quality clean energy workforce, including a unique credentialing program for training programs and instructors. A not-for-profit organization since 1982, IREC’s programs and policies have benefitted energy consumers, policymakers, utilities and the clean energy industry. As of July 2013, IREC is an accredited American National Standards Developer. For more information, visit http://www.irecusa.org