Up Front: The IREC Blog

Valuing Customer-Sited Solar and Storage: is adding batteries worth it?

The concept of adding batteries alongside a utility customer’s solar array intrigues utility customers, solar developers and utility planners on several levels, but the underlying question for everyone is whether adding batteries is “worth it.”

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Competency as a Common Language

IREC and other leading thinkers in workforce and academic credentialing are re-shaping the U.S. credentialing framework to focus on and more clearly represent student learning. The Credentials Framework positions competency what the learner knows and is able to do – as a tool and ‘common language’ to compare and understand credentials.

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‘C’ is for Catalyst

Amidst a growing sense of urgency to expedite the transition to a clean energy future, catalysts are paramount. Lasting reforms to our centuries-old energy system will not just magically happen in 50 states and a handful of territories. A planned, patient, and persistent approach is needed. This laborious (some might even say tedious) process takes a stimulus.

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Finding the On Ramp for the Skills Superhighway

In March, over 1,500 workforce professionals from as far away as Guam assembled in an unseasonably chilly Washington, D.C. for the National Association of Workforce Boards Annual Forum. IREC was on hand to meet with workforce professionals and employers, to promote the value of the IREC credential as a tool for WIBs when making decisions about allocation of workforce funding, and, more broadly, quality credentials and the role they play in the skills-based economy.

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Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?

By Kristen Ferguson As in nature, so in life: everything, including us, is in a perpetual state of change. Accept that, and anything’s possible. For the past year, IREC has teamed up with the Weatherization Training Network’s Trainers Consortium for

Another proud moment for solar and the SITN

President Obama announced a new goal to train 75,000 people to enter the solar workforce by 2020, some of whom will be veterans. This new goal builds on the tremendous progress of the DOE SunShot Initiative’s Solar Instructor Training Network, which includes nearly 500 partnering educational institutions across the country. To date, more than 1,000 solar instructors have trained through the SITN and an estimated 30,000 students have received some amount of training from them.

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The Third Decade

The obvious isn’t always obvious but when it is, it makes quite a difference. Some game changing models over the past three decades have given us strong footing as we move into a new era on how electricity is generated, where it’s generated and how it’s stored. Here’s a quick look back to bring us to now.

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From Startup to Success: The Solar Instructor Training Network Five Years On  

Building a national, highly-qualified, well-trained clean energy workforce takes time. And work. And vision. Now, after five years, we’re seeing stunning results from the confluence of the work of innovative instructors, supportive administrators at educational institutions, and long-term vision from DOE’s SunShot Initiative.

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Building on a strong foundation, the critical need for updated interconnection policies

Say you’re thinking about adding another story onto an old house. You probably wouldn’t want to start building without first having a structural engineer make some calculations to ensure the house could support the addition. Now keep that image in mind as you consider interconnection policy as one of the main load-bearing walls in our solar market “house.” If not properly designed to match the growing market conditions, state interconnection policies may cause the house to come crashing down…or at least cause some major cracks to form.

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Technology Advancements Alone Won’t Bring Energy Storage to Market – Regulatory Reform is Equally Important

It is widely recognized that distributed energy storage can offer a host of benefits to utilities, storage customers and ratepayers. It is particularly true that energy storage has enormous potential to ease the integration of high levels of renewable energy onto the electric grid. However, as it stands today, the regulatory and market policies in the electricity sector are not yet positioned to enable energy storage developers and customers to deploy the technology in a manner that ensures access to the full range of benefits it can offer.

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