IREC’s Annual Report Released, Covering 2020’s Biggest Highlights
IREC’s 2020 Annual Report covers our biggest highlights from last year, including key wins from our Regulatory, Workforce, and Local Initiative teams, metrics that quantify our impact, details about our pending merger with The Solar Foundation, and more.
“2020 was a year of many challenges, from the loss of life, jobs, and normalcy as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic to the exposure of major disruptions to the electric grid,” said Larry Sherwood, IREC President and CEO. “Yet, as I look back on IREC’s work in 2020, and forward to what lies ahead, I’m heartened by the impact we have had and energized by the opportunities in front of us.”
Last year, IREC’s Regulatory Reform program saw many solar and storage interconnection successes. In addition, the team announced the Building a Technically Reliable Interconnection Evolution for Storage (BATRIES) project, which will address the barriers to storage interconnection and identify solutions that will pave the way for rapid deployment of storage on the distribution grid. The GridMod Playbook toolkit also was released, which is an evaluation toolkit to help regulatory stakeholders make more informed decisions about grid modernization proposals, distribution plans, and grid investments. Lastly, the Regulatory team contributed to the development of a key standard for distributed energy resources, and evaluated the quality of shared renewables policies and programs in states around the country.
The Workforce Development program team continued to support the development of a robust and inclusive pipeline of qualified clean energy workers through training, accreditation, and other workforce resources in 2020. The team created an online training program to help administrative staff at subgrantee organizations of DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)—the country’s single largest residential whole-house energy efficiency program—run efficient and effective weatherization operations. The Workforce team also accredited 110 clean energy and energy efficiency training providers across the country, provided best practices for online learning in the face of COVID-19 and beyond, and initiated a project to create a career map showcasing the diversity of careers in energy efficiency for buildings, and the opportunities for career progression in this field.
IREC became the administrator of the Sustainable Energy Action Committee (SEAC) under our Local Initiatives program, and expanded SEAC into a national forum that brings together diverse stakeholders to develop solutions to clean energy code enforcement and permitting challenges. The project will facilitate improvements in the permitting and inspection of solar and solar-plus-storage projects by developing consensus-based solutions to high-priority codes and standards needs.
Finally, as The Solar Foundation’s programs will be key components of the combined organization’s work when the merger with IREC is completed this year, we are also excited to highlight The Solar Foundation’s 2020 successes in the annual report.