September 2013
The IREC Report

Joe Wiedman



Guest Columnist

Joe Wiedman

Partner, Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP



Reaching Finish Line Easier on Paved Track 


The greening of the U.S. energy supply is a marathon, not a sprint - from basic needs, such as ensuring consumers get a fair deal on net metering, to longer-term structural reform, like ensuring state and regional transmission planning incorporates renewables. And while the issues IREC takes on are not always headline-grabbing or sexy, we've been in the race since 1994, often leading the pack, and we're poised to go the distance. What matters most is getting the policies that matter right - that's the foundation of success.


For example, establishing fair, transparent, efficient rules for connecting renewables to the grid while also ensuring grid safety and reliability is necessary for renewables to even get out of the starting gate. States and utilities leading the charge in installed capacity, like Hawaii, Massachusetts, California and Pepco, Inc., are grappling with new interconnection issues as programs bring gigawatts  on to the grid. IREC is working with national labs, utilities, developers and other industry partners to stay ahead of the game by addressing these next-generation interconnection issues now.


Consumers are jumping into the race in droves. But because the U.S. energy sector is so complicated  (and sometimes downright challenging to renewables), consumers need help to ensure programs are designed to meet their circumstances.


For example, in New York, IREC supported an increase in the state's net-metering cap that yielded hundreds of additional megawatts to that program. Similarly, in California, IREC supported an interpretation of that state's net-metering cap that added over a gigawatt to California's program.


The next leg of the race will be in Minnesota, which recently enacted legislation expanding net metering and shared solar, and in California, where two of the state's three investor-owned utilities are developing programs that could offer hundreds of megawatts of shared solar.

IREC is also heavily involved in net-metering discussions in Arizona, California, Colorado and Nevada to address utilities' concerns and to ensure consumers continue to have access to fair net metering.


Just like good running shoes are essential to achieving your personal best, high-quality resources are necessary to help regulators chart the course of policy evolution and reform. IREC recently updated its Model Interconnection Procedures and its Model Rules for Shared Renewable Energy Programs, and it has issued concept papers on distribution planning and PURPA-based DG growth to ensure regulators and others have the tools they need to achieve their states' personal best.


We look forward to sharing a round of celebratory beverages at the finish line.


Solar Instructor Training Network

by Joe Sarubbi

Joe Sarubbi

Local Code Officials Have New User Friendly Version for Solar PV Online Training

The PV Online Training for code officials is now on the Moodle platform, an open source learning management system popular with educators as a tool for creating online, dynamic web-based content for students.Though the PV online curriculum was originally developed for code officials and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), the training is available to anyone. More

Regulatory Reform 
by Laurel Passera



Opening the Roof for Affordable Solar

The high upfront cost of solar has always been a barrier to participation for many who would otherwise welcome the chance to green their energy supply. Many organizations, including IREC, are working to change this by offering solutions to break through these economic barriers. More

IREC Credentialing Program 

by Laure-Jeanne Davignon


LJ 9/30 Last day for application acceptance - current IREC Credentials

IREC will have two new standards in effect starting this fall: one for the accreditation of training providers, and one for the certification of instructors and master trainers. If you or your organization is thinking of applying or in the process of applying for an IREC credential, the final day to have an application accepted by IREC under IREC Standard 01022 is September 30, 2013. More 

SolarOps logo
ICLEI's Solar Outreach Partnership 

September is a busy month for the Solar Outreach Partnership with three Solar Powering Your Community workshops and a webinar. For details, click here

9/6  Solar Powering Your Community workshop, Southern Vermont

9/10  Solar Powering Your Community workshop, Minneapolis

9/20  Webinar: Promoting Solar Energy Use Through Local Plans

9/26  Solar Powering Your Community Workshop, Boston
of note... 
REFF West banner horizontal

IREC is proud to promote ACORE's Renewable Energy Finance Forum West, September 16-17, in San Francisco, California. Covering a range of renewable and clean energy technologies, with a particular focus on developments in the Western US, topics covered at REFF-West include project financing, venture capital, renewable power generation, emerging commercial technologies, financing smaller projects, equity financing and established technologies. 

As a supporting organization of ACORE's Renewable Energy Finance Forum West, IREC is offering a 20% discount. To take advantage of this opportunity, REGISTER NOW with discount code: SPT20IRC.



3iForum banner



Three days of insightful 30-minute sessions from solar thought leaders will take shape as the first IREC 3iForum, on the floor of Solar Power International, booth #3041, October 22-24 in Chicago.


Here's the current schedule: 


Tuesday, October 22
11:00am  Building the Market: IREC Tackling Issues for Success

11:30am  Why Market-Valued IREC Credentials Matter
12:00pm  Future of Net Metering
1:30pm  Better Trained Workers Affect Your Bottom Line: The Solar Instructor Training Network at Work
2:00pm  Interconnection Issues at Higher Penetrations
2:30pm  Improving Interconnection: Integrated Distribution Planning
3:00pm  IREC's Annual Solar Market Trends Report
4:00pm  IREC Awards Ceremony at Solar Central Booth #1343


Wednesday, October 23
2:00pm  Better Trained Workers Affect Your Bottom Line: The Solar Instructor Training Network at Work
2:30pm  Future of Net Metering
3:00pm  Shared Solar: Growing the Market
3:30pm  Improving Interconnection: Integrated Distribution Planning


Thursday, October 24
9:30am  Shared Solar: Growing the Market
10:00am Why Market-Valued IREC Credentials Matter
10:30am  Interconnection Issues at Higher Penetrations
11:30am  IREC's Annual Solar Market Trends Report



Sponsors for IREC's 3iForum
IREC appreciates the generous support  of our early sponsors for the exciting, new 3iForum at Solar Power International in Chicago October 22-24. To explore sponsorship possibilities, contact Larry Sherwood
OUC logo 250SunEdison
  Sunrun  DMME logo
About 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. 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.
Jane Weissman Recently, AltEnergy Magazine sat down with IREC President/CEO Jane Weissman to talk about IREC's recent accreditation as a standards developer organization (SDO)--what this means for IREC and for the clean energy workforce community. More

solar permitting constancy

Many municipalities and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) are facing dramatic increases in rooftop solar permit applications. With this trend expected to continue and spread, streamlining building and electrical permitting processes will become increasingly important to more AHJs. 
To facilitate such streamlining, IREC and Vote Solar have identified nine Best Practices in Residential Solar Permitting, which should result in benefits to both AHJs and solar installers. Underlying these best practices is the goal of increased consistency of solar permitting processes across jurisdictions. 
When technical and procedural requirements are relatively consistent-regionally, statewide, or even nationally-it can offer significant efficiency benefits for both AHJs and the solar industry. More
get in the game banner

The message is simple. As the RE/EE industry grows, so does the demand for quality training. Quality training programs that meet the highest standards and result in marketable, job-related skills stand out from the rest. The IREC Credentialing Program offers that distinction. More
Read IREC's Newsletters

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


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10/3-13 | Solar Decathlon
Orange County Great Park
Irvine, CA
Chicago, IL
10/22-24 | IREC 3iForum
Information. Insight. Inspiration.
30-minute sessions at SPI, booth #3041
Chicago, IL
Solar Central Booth, Solar Power International
Chicago, IL
11/11-14 | ICE Conference
Amelia Island, FL
Orlando, FL
Visit IREC's online calendar for more events.
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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.