April 2013
The IREC Report


from the President & CEO
Jane Weissman





Solar has Farm Teams Too!


It's Opening Day week across the land as the Boys of Summer take the field. While it will be wonderful to see the lights back on at Fenway, I enjoy watching Spring Training and the new guys joining the team. Some will make the majors; others will go back to minor league ball.  Baseball has a great farm system offering players the training and experience they need for the main event, and giving management ways of identifying talent. 


I look at the solar "farm system" that we have put into place over the years, and it's impressive.


A national standardized exam that tests basic solar energy knowledge is offered by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). More than 15,000 people have passed this exam. Add the Solar Instructor Training Network and the nine regional providers that offer train-the-trainer courses and mentoring. Furthering efforts are the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education Centers and the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC), which provide multiple training ramps into the renewable energy and energy efficiency fields. Insert IREC's quality credentialing framework - providing assessment to two training standards - and the combined results are strong. 


IREC was at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week discussing topics related to their Small Generator Interconnection Agreements Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR). Sky Stanfield and Mike Sheehan, representing IREC, spoke on a number of roundtable panels, including the one on fast track process eligibility, pre-application report, supplemental review screens, and interconnection of storage devices.


At the workshop, Sky and Mike helped provide context and support for the proposed revisions, relying on IREC's experience with recent reforms in California, Hawaii and Massachusetts. IREC will submit written comments in support of the NOPR in June. If adopted, these changes will enable utilities to efficiently process interconnection applications for distributed generation projects even as higher penetrations are reached. The tariff will also act as a model for states considering reforms to their interconnection procedures.

IREC has a busy line-up for April.  We'll be speaking at the ASES Conference in Baltimore, exhibiting at the American Association of Community Colleges' Annual Convention in San Francisco, and then speaking and exhibiting at ACI's Annual Conference in Denver. 


We're getting closer to the roll-out of the New IREC, early in May. 


Here's another preview:  In response to our growing Credentialing Program, I am very happy to let you know that Laure-Jeanne Davignon is now the director of IREC's Credentialing Program and Pat Fox is the director of Credentialing Development. Both Pat and LJ bring years of upper management and operations expertise to IREC. We have a great Credentialing Program staff that continues to gain ground with an impressive batting average.


Talk with you soon.


JMW sig  


Connecting to the Grid 
by Laurel Passera




Solar Amplified, Benefits Maximized

Many utilities have recently gained considerable experience integrating renewables and have started to allow higher penetrations of solar on the distribution grid than previously allowed. Distribution-level interconnection can save a lot of money for developers, compared to transmission interconnections, and substantially lower the cost of the developing new renewable generating capacity. More 

IREC Credentialing Program  

by Pat Fox

Last month, Jane Weissman and I attended the National Association of Workforce Investment Boards (NAWB) conference in Washington DC.  It was an active conference with participation of Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) from across the country.  Although most attendees did not know of IREC before meeting us at our booth, our message resonated with many of them. The primary value of credentialing is verifying that training programs are teaching the skills covered in an industry-verified job task analysis (JTA) for a particular job. More


Solar Instructor Training Network

by Joe Sarubbi


Joe Sarubbi

From California, where SITN presented at a solar workshop for energy educators in Santa Barbara, to an interview with Dana Doran of Kennebec Valley Community College on how solar is thriving in sunny Maine, these stories and other news highlight the Spring edition of The SITN Quarterly. More
Small Wind News
by Larry Sherwood
Larry Sherwood  

Small Wind Certification Council Issues 4th Full Certification


Kestrel became the fourth turbine model to receive SWCC's full certification. Conditional Temporary Certification issued to Eoltec brings to nine the number of turbine models certified to the SWCC standard. Three additional manufacturers have submitted final reports for certification.  With SWCC certifications representing a significant share of the North American small wind market, our certification ratings and labels are allowing easier comparison shopping, aiding incentive programs with setting payment levels, and leading toward national requirements. More

SolarOps logo
ICLEI's Solar Outreach Partnership 

IREC offers first of three solar permitting reform workshops for local governments; two more in the queue 


Sky Stanfield and Erica Schroeder, both of Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, LLP and representing IREC, kicked off this three-part workshop series in Alameda County, CA, helping communities evaluate their solar rooftop permitting processes, and learn about streamlining efforts that other jurisdictions across the country have found effective. More

of note...
Sky Stanfield, Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, LLP


Making safe, reliable interconnection of renewable energy easier is the goal. Increasing the number of interconnections, through improved application efficiency and cost-effectiveness, while maintaining safety and electrical system reliability, that's the challenge. More 
Providing clear and accurate information to potential applicants upfront can be a simple and efficient way for municipalities to improve the completion and accuracy of the permit applications they review. Municipalities across the country have begun creating permitting checklists and more comprehensive guidance documents to assist applicants. IREC has created this two-page handout to introduce these documents to permitting staff and to provide some tips on how to draft effective versions for your own community.

Working together, IREC and Vote Solar have developed a set of Best Practices for the solar permitting process, which identify nine benchmarks for an efficient solar permitting process. These Best Practices can be used as a guide for jurisdictions in identifying aspects of their permitting process that may warrant improvement.  

Sharing Success

Used in the solar process permitting workshop series from ICLEI, this IREC report 

serves as both a vehicle for discussion of permitting challenges, and as a source of inspiration for communities looking for realistic and effective ways to improve solar permitting while ensuring safe solar installations.  


Created for ICLEI's Solar Outreach Initiative, a two-page summary complements the full report.  

Read IREC's Newsletters

The IREC Report
Connecting to the Grid
Small Wind News
The Credentialing Chronicle
The SITN Quarterly


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4/16-4/20 | Solar 2013
Baltimore, MD
San Francisco, CA
Denver, CO
4/30-5/3 | ACI National Home Performance Conference
Denver, CO

Alfred, NY 
Stevens Point, WI
6/21-6/23 | MREA Energy Fair
Custer, WI
San Francisco, CA


The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. DSIRE contains in­formation on more than 2,700 incentives and policies. Approximately 175,000 people per month use DSIRE. 

Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.. DSIRE is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
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About IREC
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) is a non-profit organization accelerating the use of  renewable energy and energy efficiency since 1982. IREC's programs and policies lead to easier, more affordable connection to the utility grid; fair credit for renewable energy produced; best practices for states, municipalities, utilities and industry; and quality assessment for the growing clean energy workforce through the credentialing of trainers and training programs. Visit us at www.irecusa.org.

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC's endorsement or recommendation.