IREC papers and reports offer independent, thought-leading expertise and insight, including publications in which IREC has collaborated with others. They are divided here into four categories: regulatory; market trends and analysis; workforce education; and permitting/inspection. Click the link for details and to download each publication.
A background on DG and why the size, location and technology of DG resources matter in determining the benefits DG is able to provide. The report also provides an analysis of the cost effectiveness of DG resources and, perhaps most importantly, recommends ways to maximize the benefits that DG can provide to the grid.
This report offers lessons learned from 16 regional and utility-specific Distributed Solar Generation (DSG) studies summarized in a recent review by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), and then proposes a standardized valuation methodology for public utility commissions to consider implementing in future studies.
An overview of policies that will allow California to continue to support distributed generation (DG) while driving projects into the highest-value locations in a manner that enables the state to get the most out of its investment.
Three case studies offer a glimpse at three different utilities’ approaches to offering community solar to their customers.
An introduction to the issues surrounding policy and technical considerations of grid-integrated, renewable energy development.
Since the market for distributed energy storage is still in its infancy, there is a significant need for regulatory guidance and proactive policies to ensure a smooth integration into the existing electrical system. In this report, IREC offers independent insight on how to address these new challenges – and opportunities – in the regulatory arena.
This landmark IREC report offers a unique look at the national movement toward a more modern electricity grid, and offers five insightful approaches for state utility regulators to consider as they facilitate the transition through rules and regulations that govern the electricity system and electric utilities.
A concept paper from IREC and Sandia National Laboratories proposing an Integrated Distribution Planning (IDP) approach to proactive planning for DG growth.
Many states have either adopted net metering policies that capture some of the best practices identified in these IREC model rules or adopted rules that advance the policies contained in IREC’s model. First published in 2003 and updated in 2009.
First developed in 2005 and updated in 2009, the 2013 edition of IREC’s Model Interconnection Procedures synthesizes a number of best practices in the evolution of safe and reliable connecting of renewable energy systems to the utility grid.
Revised in collaboration with The Vote Solar Initiative, these model rules were updated in 2013 to assist stakeholders in developing shared renewables programs that broaden renewable energy access to more consumers.
This report provides clarification on how net metering works in complex competitive markets.
Proposes a method to quantify the added economic benefits that could result from adding behind-the-meter storage to supplement solar energy generation in Hawaii. The method provides a useful framework and information tool that can be used to conduct a more comprehensive valuation analysis in Hawaii and other states.
In partnership with CalSEIA and the Center for Sustainable Energy, IREC co-authored the Virtual Net Metering Policy Background and Tariff Summary report, which provides a comprehensive overview of California’s multi-tenant policies and an explanation of similar shared solar programs throughout the country.
In an effort to reduce solar soft costs and assist local governments and other public entities seeking to install and finance rooftop solar systems, IREC developed a comprehensive toolkit on retail solar power purchase agreements (PPAs), sometimes referred to as solar service agreements. An Executive Summary is also available.
In this paper, the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach to Distributed Generation (DG) are discussed. It concludes with several considerations to address before PURPA could become a viable option for promoting DG growth in many states. Several recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decisions have provided the needed justification to value the benefits of DG facilities.
Market Trends & Analysis
This annual report provides information and independent, thought-leading insight from IREC’s national experts on the year’s renewable energy and energy efficiency progress and challenges in trend-leading states and across the U.S. Released at Solar Power International in Anaheim September 2015.
An annual in-depth review of solar photovoltaics, solar thermal and concentrated solar activities and progress in the U.S. Authored by IREC Vice President/COO Larry Sherwood.
Barbara Martin Ph.D’s comprehensive work on important teaching practices that can improve the quality of a training course.
A compendium of national best practices for instructors in solar training, education and workforce development created for the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN).
A simple, two-page handout to introduce permitting checklists to municipal permitting staff, and tips on drafting effective versions for communities.
Details of the most important aspects of a field inspection which can be performed in as little as 15 minutes, complete with illustrative pictures on the specific details of each step.
Detailed steps for obtaining each necessary approval for residential rooftop PV projects in four different markets in the United States to better understand the relationship between the different approval processes and the challenges in each.
Designed to benefit permitting authorities and installers, and ultimately energy consumers who invest in solar.
A review of current residential solar permitting best practices, along with relevant resources to help communities implement them.
The definitive report outlining innovative strategies being implemented across the U.S. to increase the efficiency of permitting procedures for rooftop solar systems. A short, two-page summary to complement the full Sharing Success: Emerging Approaches to Efficient Rooftop Solar PV Permitting report is also available.
From IREC and The Vote Solar Initiative, nine best practices in residential solar permitting which can offer significant efficiency benefits for both AHJs and the solar industry.
Working together, IREC and The Vote Solar Initiative have developed a set of best practices for the solar permitting process that identify nine benchmarks for an efficient solar permitting process.