“Policies and regulations governing electricity distribution systems are key to transitioning to a cleaner, consumer-driven, resilient, low-carbon electricity grid capable of meeting the myriad challenges of the 21st Century.”
Sara Baldwin, IREC Vice President – Regulatory
IREC facilitates the adoption of policies and regulatory reforms that allow more Americans to benefit from renewable, clean energy, including low- to moderate-income consumers and disadvantaged communities.
Our independent voice, policy expertise and national insight help inform and guide fact-based, regulatory decision making on distributed energy resources (DERs), such as distributed solar and energy storage. By streamlining DER integration on the electric grid, we optimize their widespread benefits in emerging and established markets alike.
Our Core Issues
Interconnection standards are the ‘rules of the road’ for the electricity grid, specifying the processes, costs and timelines associated with connecting renewable energy systems, energy storage, and other distributed energy resources (DERs) to the grid. IREC works in states across the country and through national forums to advance regulatory reforms to make connecting to the grid more affordable, efficient and cost-effective.
See 2019 Model Interconnection Procedures
Considerable investments in the grid will be needed in the coming decades to address aging infrastructure and changing demands on the electricity grid; however, not all investments may be warranted or beneficial, either from an economic or carbon reduction standpoint. In an effort to make the modernization of the U.S. electricity grid are more efficient and impactful, IREC helps regulatory stakeholders navigate, analyze and make more informed decisions about grid modernization proposals, distribution plans and grid investments across the United States.
See A Playbook for Modernizing the Distribution Grid (the “GridMod Playbook”)
States and utilities across the country are setting in motion needed updates and reforms to century-old electricity systems and regulatory regimes as part of larger grid modernization efforts. Through active engagement in multiple state grid modernization proceedings, IREC provides input and guidance to assist regulators, utilities and regulatory stakeholders identify workable methods to optimize the integration of distributed energy resources.
See Optimizing the Grid: A Regulator’s Guide to Hosting Capacity Analyses for Distributed Energy Resources
Advanced energy storage technologies have tremendous potential to transform the electricity grid; yet, energy storage needs more clear policy and regulatory frameworks to scale and become more mainstream across all markets. IREC’s regulatory leadership and guidance on this topic, particularly on distributed energy storage, is facilitating the development of foundational regulatory policies to enable near-term and long-term growth for this promising distributed energy resource. See Charging Ahead: An Energy Storage Guide for Policymakers
Shared renewable energy (sometimes called community renewables) is on the rise, with more states and utilities adopting programs, policies and projects as a means to expand clean energy access to more consumers. IREC has been at the forefront of the shared renewable energy growth in the U.S. since its inception, developing model rules, guiding principles, a state policy catalog and other tools to lay the foundation for best practice program and policy design across the country. See Model Rules for Shared Renewable Energy Programs
Multifamily Solar Access
The multifamily building sector is a large, yet untapped market for solar energy. For multifamily tenants (owners or renters), accessing the benefits of solar is contingent on the availability of policies or programs, such as Virtual Net Metering, to accommodate multifamily arrangements. IREC is currently partnering with other organizations to identify challenges and generate tools and solutions to expand solar access for the multifamily sector, including solar for affordable housing to benefit low- to moderate-income households. See Expanding Solar Access: Pathways for Multifamily Housing