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Larry Sherwood
Message from the CEO

IREC celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2022! Since 1982, IREC has made clean energy possible for millions of Americans through cutting-edge policy and workforce solutions that advance renewable energy, electric grid modernization, and energy efficiency.

In 2022, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest federal program for clean energy deployment in U.S. history. However, barriers remain to growing clean energy use, including changes needed in interconnection, workforce, and supportive local policies. IREC is working to remove these barriers and reach a 100% clean energy future to avert the worst impacts of climate change.

Interconnection processes must become more efficient and better aligned with the capabilities of clean energy systems. IREC works to ensure that interconnection of distributed energy resources (DERs) is safe, reliable, fast, affordable, and enables the full range of DER benefits. IREC’s model procedures and tools are used throughout the country. In 2022, IREC and partners published a toolkit of practical solutions to storage interconnection. Over 12,000 individuals attended related education events or explored the toolkit online, and several U.S. states have already adopted the recommendations. IREC also published work related to hosting capacity analysis, electric vehicle adoption, and smart inverter standards implementation. IREC advanced policies to streamline the interconnection of DERs on the grid, by intervening as a public interest stakeholder or providing technical assistance in nine states. California, Illinois, Minnesota, and New Mexico adopted new policies as a result of IREC’s work.

The clean energy workforce will need to expand significantly and inclusively to support a growing demand. IREC programs connect quality training opportunities, employers, and employees. In 2022, IREC co-convened the National Clean Energy Workforce Alliance, which brought together hundreds of organizations and identified solutions to build the inclusive, highly-trained, and significantly expanded clean energy workforce that will be needed to meet national clean energy goals. IREC published the 12th annual National Solar Jobs Census, showing a 9 percent growth in solar jobs. However, 85 percent of solar firms surveyed reported difficulty finding qualified applicants, demonstrating the immediate need to create a workforce pipeline into clean energy jobs. Over 3,000 building safety professionals, installers, and building operators were trained through IREC’s online clean energy training. In addition, IREC connected military service members and veterans with career opportunities in the solar industry through the Solar Ready Vets Network.

Local communities must have the tools and resources to facilitate rapid installation of clean energy projects. Many barriers to clean energy adoption exist in local communities, even in communities that have set clean energy goals. Local governments establish zoning regulations, and permit and inspect most clean energy installations. Permitting and inspection is usually governed by model national building and electrical codes. In 2022, the SolSmart program, co-led by IREC and the International City/County Management Association, designated additional communities as “open for solar business.” Thirty-four percent of the U.S. population now lives in a SolSmart-designated community. Through the Sustainable Energy Action Committee, IREC made 28 recommended changes to the International Code Council codes and over 80% received preliminary approval. With IREC leadership, the rural community of Casteñer, Puerto Rico celebrated the completion of one of the first community-led microgrid projects, providing reliable power to small businesses and essential community services.

IREC’s programs advanced clean energy in 2022, continuing to remove these important barriers and set the U.S. on a path to create a 100% clean energy future. In tackling these critical clean energy needs, IREC is building the foundation for rapid adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency.

Strategic Pathways

In the Regulatory Space

IREC works to enable streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective installation of clean, distributed energy resources and enabled the decarbonization of the transportation and building sectors.

Building the Workforce

IREC provides strategy and direction to help those working toward clean energy goals foster a growing and equitable clean energy workforce.

In the Community

IREC empowers local governments, communities, and individuals to take actions that increase the deployment of clean energy and implementation of energy efficiency.

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IREC facilitates policies and regulatory solutions that help make clean energy accessible to everyone. Our unparalleled expertise and unique position as an independent public interest group gives IREC a seat at the table to help state utility commissions advance the use of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as rooftop solar and energy storage. We encourage and prioritize equitable clean energy solutions that benefit underserved communities.
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2022 Highlights
In 2022, the Regulatory team advanced policies to streamline the interconnection of DERs on the grid, providing public interest intervention or technical assistance in eight states and expert consulting in one state. The team contributed to significant policy improvements in California and Illinois, with both states adopting new policies to improve the safe and reliable interconnection of DERs.
2022 Regulatory Highlights
Where We Engaged


Rule Updates in Illinois Make It Easier to Connect More Renewables to the Grid

In May, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) adopted revisions to Illinois’ interconnection rules, informed by IREC recommendations, that will streamline the interconnection process and reduce the time and cost to safely and reliably connect clean energy to the grid and make it easier to utilize energy storage.

Setting the Standard for Energy Storage Interconnection Best Practices

Through the Building a Technically Reliable Interconnection Evolution for Storage (BATRIES) project, IREC and partners developed practical solutions to eight critical storage interconnection barriers. We raised awareness of these solutions via an intensive training and education program, spanning twelve trainings and workshops and numerous presentations at conferences around the country. Over 12,000 individuals attended related educational events or explored the Toolkit online, and three U.S. states have already adopted related recommendations.

Groundbreaking California Rule Transforms How Renewables Connect to the Grid

In June, a decision from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), resulting from years of engagement by IREC, dramatically simplified the interconnection process for DERs and provided valuable transparency for project developers. With these changes, California became the first state in the nation to utilize hosting capacity data (which shows where there is capacity to integrate renewables without the need for grid upgrades) to streamline the interconnection process, making it possible for renewable energy to be deployed faster and more affordably.

IREC’s 2022 Paving the Way paper series covered three key topics related to electric vehicles (EVs): the technical standards needed to enable vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging, how to ensure equitable access to EVs through shared mobility programs, and best practices for streamlining the interconnection process for EV chargers. In this series, IREC provided pathways and considerations for transitioning to electrified transportation in a manner that is equitable, efficient, and beneficial to the grid. These papers will continue to serve as needed resources in light of the scale of EV charger interconnection that will be needed to achieve the federal target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Hosting capacity analyses (HCA) are an analytical tool that can help states and utilities plan for and build a cleaner electric grid that optimizes DERs, such as rooftop solar, energy storage, or EV charging stations. However, they must be validated for accuracy to be useful.

To help utilities and states achieve accurate HCA results, IREC and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) co-authored Data Validation for Hosting Capacity Analyses, which identifies best practices for producing trusted, validated HCA results reflecting real-world grid conditions.

IEEE 1547-2018 is a technical standard that establishes how distributed energy resources (DERs)—like solar and energy storage—can connect to the grid. IREC published the Decision Options Matrix for IEEE 1547™-2018 Adoption, a resource for Public Utilities Commissions, utility personnel, and other DER stakeholders interested in adopting and implementing IEEE 1547-2018 in their jurisdictions. The matrix includes a list of Decision Options (DOs) that stakeholders should consider before implementing the updated standard, which provide step-by-step guidance on incorporating the standard into interconnection rules and procedures.

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IREC supports the growth of a highly-trained and inclusive clean energy workforce to support the rapid expansion of clean and renewable energy industries. We work with a broad community of stakeholders to connect diverse workers and communities with family-sustaining careers in clean energy. Our experienced team of workforce professionals leads national, regional, and local efforts from planning through implementation to increase awareness of clean energy career opportunities and develop the highly-skilled workforce of the future.
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2022 Highlights
In 2022, IREC’s Workforce team published the 12th annual National Solar Jobs Census, providing key data on the state of the solar workforce; developed new clean energy training courses; and continued to connect military service members and veterans with career opportunities in the solar industry through the Solar Ready Vets Network™.

Additionally, the National Clean Energy Workforce Alliance, co-convened by IREC and the National Council on Workforce Education, brought together hundreds of organizations to identify solutions to build the inclusive, highly-trained, and significantly expanded clean energy workforce that will be needed to meet national clean energy goals.
2022 Workforce Highlights

IREC released the 12th annual National Solar Jobs Census, the definitive measure of solar energy industry employment and workforce development in the United States. This widely read report has become an essential tool for solar energy advocates to document the industry’s impact on job growth. It found that solar energy jobs were up in 47 states and increased 9 percent nationwide from 2020 to 2021 to a total of 255,037 solar workers. This job growth took place in a year of record solar installations driven by increased demand for renewable energy among residential customers, municipalities, businesses, and electric utilities.

The Solar Ready Vets Network connects transitioning military service members and veterans with career opportunities in the solar industry. Military service provides leadership abilities and technical skills that solar companies value highly. With our partners, we are building industry capacity to advance a nationwide pipeline of talent at all levels of the solar workforce.

More than 2,000 veterans, employers, and other stakeholders have joined the Solar Ready Vets Network since its inception. In 2022, 35 transitioning service members were placed into mid- to senior-level positions with solar companies through Solar Ready Vets Fellowships. Fifty-four veterans were employed with solar companies in technical roles after completing training with program partners, 109 veterans earned NABCEP certification through new Veterans Pathways, and 117 veterans connected with solar employers at a virtual hiring fair.

Dynamic Careers in the Solar Industry: A Guide for Career Counselors and Job Seekers, a new guide from IREC’s Solar Ready Vets team, equips job seekers and career counselors with details on job opportunities, career pathways, and career development resources available in the solar industry.

Since January 2022, the National Clean Energy Workforce Alliance has convened over 500 organizations to identify solutions to improve clean energy education, training, and job placement outcomes. These Alliance members include employers, training and education providers, community-based recruitment and support organizations, energy justice organizations, and government entities at all levels.

The Alliance published key findings from its convenings of Community Based Organizations, Training Providers, and Employers that identify best practices and processes to support a healthy clean energy workforce ecosystem. These efforts culminated in the 2022 Vision Summit, a one-day conference that explored the practices needed to build the inclusive and equitable clean energy workforce of the future.

IREC’s online clean energy education and training has attracted thousands of building safety professionals, installers, and building operators and managers from every state.

In 2022, 2,400 new users registered for 4,600 courses about solar and energy storage permitting and inspection and building controls in IREC’s learning management system, CleanEnergyTraining.org. 1,050 inspectors and contractors were trained to use the SolarAPP+ online permitting and inspection software for residential PV and energy storage systems. IREC also launched a set of training modules, “Fundamentals of Building Control Systems,” to educate facilities workers at the State University of New York (SUNY) campuses on energy efficiency.

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Clean energy begins in the community. Local governments have a pivotal and often underappreciated role in bringing clean energy solutions to their residents and businesses. Through numerous programs, IREC helps cities, counties, and towns use policy tools and resources to drive the growth of clean energy, address climate change, and create new jobs.
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2022 Highlights
In 2022, IREC’s Local team launched the Clean Energy Clearinghouse, one of the most widely-accessed DER information clearinghouse websites housing information on clean energy codes and standards. IREC also announced that the SolSmart program will be upgraded and expanded to focus on underserved communities, and at the end of 2022, SolSmart reached a milestone of designating 34% of the U.S. population. In Puerto Rico, the team celebrated the completion of the first phase of a solar-plus-storage installation—one of the first community-led microgrid projects in Puerto Rico.
2022 Local Highlights

The SolSmart program recognizes cities, towns, counties, and regional organizations for making it faster, easier, and more affordable to go solar. The program’s national team of experts provides no-cost technical assistance to help communities become “open for solar business.” In recognition of their achievements, these communities receive designations of SolSmart Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. IREC leads SolSmart in partnership with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and a team of organizations with expertise in solar energy and local government.

In 2022, the number of people in SolSmart designation communities reached 111,378,745—almost 500 communities and about 34% of the U.S. population.

In May, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $10 million award for IREC and ICMA to upgrade and expand the program with a focus on underserved communities. SolSmart’s work was continued to help another 500 communities reach designation in the next five years; at least 40% of those will be disadvantaged communities.

The Sustainable Energy Action Committee (SEAC) brings together diverse clean energy stakeholders—from installers and manufacturers to electrical inspectors, building officials, and others—to develop consensus-based solutions to code enforcement and permitting challenges that affect the installation of clean energy systems. SEAC is led by IREC under a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

In 2022, SEAC proposed 27 changes to improve codes and standards affecting clean energy in the 2024 edition of the International Codes, including the International Residential Code, the International Building Code, and the International Fire Code. SEAC offered the code proposals in collaboration with National Association of State Fire Marshals, California Fire Chiefs Association, Solar Energy Industries Association, and California Solar and Storage Association. Following an extensive review process, ICC voters approved 20 SEAC recommendations.

SEAC also developed four information bulletins, including:
Clarifying National Electrical Code (NEC) Requirements for Energy Storage Systems (ESS) Disconnecting Means
Permitting Solar on Properties with Unpermitted Structures
Qualified Persons and Renewable Energy Systems
Introduction to UL 9540A (testing the fire hazards associated with ESS)

SEAC established a Permitting, Zoning, & Planning Subcommittee to develop clear guidelines, protocols, and checklists for accelerating permitting of EVSE installations. Eleven general SEAC meetings were held with presentations given to SEAC membership and the general public.

Building, fire, and safety officials play a critical role in enabling the safe, widespread, and rapid deployment of new technologies that make the grid more sustainable and resilient. With grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, IREC is expanding the clean energy knowledge of thousands of safety professionals and reducing barriers to widespread DER deployment.

In 2022, IREC launched one of the most widely-accessed DER information clearinghouse websites, housing expert information on clean energy codes, standards, permitting, and inspection. Concurrently, the team developed modular online training for the plan review and inspection of solar PV systems, energy storage systems, and EV charging infrastructure. A monthly webinar series designed specifically for building operators, managers, and safety officials, provided timely and industry-vetted resources on the safe and effective deployment of DERs in buildings across the country. More than 45,000 users benefitted from these resources in 2022.

In Puerto Rico, IREC is helping accelerate the transition to a renewable, resilient, and just energy future. Our island-based staff works with a network of local partners to facilitate community microgrid projects, promote local resilience, build the territory’s solar workforce, and expand the options for solar-plus-storage financing.

The Puerto Rican Solar Business Accelerator (PRSBA), led by IREC in partnership with Pathstone Corporation, Inc., is helping to expand and strengthen the Puerto Rican solar industry and spur the development of a highly qualified solar workforce, in support of the territory’s commitment to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050.


The community of Castañer, Puerto Rico, in partnership with IREC and the Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de la Montaña, held a ribbon cutting on May 27, 2022, for the first phase of a new solar energy microgrid that will provide a secure and resilient energy source for local businesses and residents.

In May, the rural community of Castañer, Puerto Rico celebrated the completion of first phase of a solar-plus-storage installation that is one of the first community-led microgrid projects in Puerto Rico. The microgrid, which IREC worked with the community to develop, is powering local businesses including a bakery, ice cream shop, barber, post office, community center, and two electric vehicle charging stations, totaling 40 kW of solar PV and 35 kWh in battery storage. When the next phases are added, the complete microgrid will include approximately 225 kW in solar PV and 500 kWh in battery storage.

Nearly five years to the day after Hurricane Maria in 2017, Hurricane Fiona tore through the island in September 2022 and shut down the electricity grid once again. Significantly, the Castañer microgrid continued to provide electricity without interruption, allowing small businesses to continue to provide important services for the town.

In December, IREC was part of a team selected by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to develop an innovative, community-based energy resilience plan for Castañer, Puerto Rico under a joint $1.4 million award. Led by Slipstream Group, Inc., the team will coordinate to assist the local utility in developing tools to restore power faster after extreme weather events. This project will directly build upon the solar energy microgrid that IREC has advanced in the community.

In February 2022, IREC selected Maricao, Puerto Rico as the second community to develop a solar-plus-storage microgrid with support from the PRSBA. The project will be located in the town center and benefit diverse community facilities including health care providers, banks, and other businesses that provide service to a population of about 5,430, creating a reliable and zero-emission energy system in an area that experiences daily power outages. Construction of the microgrid commenced in 2023.

In 2022, five rural municipalities in Puerto Rico’s Cordillera Central mountain range—Barranquitas, Ciales, Morovis, Orocovis, and Villalba—achieved the SolSmart Bronze designation, with the support of IREC’s Puerto Rico-based staff. In doing so, they became the first communities in Puerto Rico to receive SolSmart designation. The communities celebrated their achievements at a May event in Orocovis.

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Explore IREC’s timeline
spanning 40 years of impact.

IREC celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2022! Since 1982, IREC has made clean energy possible for millions of Americans through cutting-edge policy and workforce solutions that advance renewable energy, electric grid modernization, and energy efficiency.

Today, our work continues in response to the urgent need to transition to clean energy. Explore our timeline spanning 40 years of IREC’s impact—as we continue to work to mitigate climate change, improve the resiliency of our communities, and ensure all people benefit from a just transition to a clean energy future.

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Financial Summary

As an independent, not-for-profit organization, IREC relies on a mix of public and private funds to advance our mission to expand access to clean, sustainable energy and energy efficiency for more Americans. Diverse funding sources have supported IREC’s work to:

  1. Advance regulatory policy best practices across dozens of states, ensuring fair and affordable clean energy access for all consumers.
  1. Produce trusted, thought-leading resources, tools, and model rules that inform and guide fact-based decision making on clean energy issues.
  1. Support development of a qualified clean energy workforce through trainings, education, and nationally-accredited credentialing efforts.
  1. Simplify the adoption of clean energy technologies with tools, practices, and policies that enhance efficiency and transparency.
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Meet the Team & Board
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2022 Funders & Donors

Jonathan Abe • D.A. Abrams • Lorraine Akiba • Ladan Alavi • Trenton Allen • Benjamin Anderson • Sarah Andrade • Katheryn Austin • Michelle Barrett • Mark Bershatsky • Michael Bill • Dara Bortman • Tom Branen • Kaitlin Brennan • Jen Bristol • Ray Bynum • Carina Campobasso • Brandon Carlson • Ron Celentano • Shaun Chapman • Gilbert Chauny • Lucas Chavez-Pardini • Chris Cook • Aidan Cusack • Michael DeAngelis • Jim DesJardins • Robin Dutta • Scott Elias • Gerardo Escalante • Mark Farber • Nathan Flanders • Tres Forrester • Phillip Foster • Michael Fraser • Mary Geer • Armin Geltinger • Valerie Gillies • Ed Gilliland • Leslie Graham • Philip Haddix • Matthew Harris • Amanda Hatherly • Brian Hayden • Elaine Hebert • Utopia Hill • Janell Hills • Matthew Hirsch • Geraldine Ho • Brandon Hoayun • William J. Hopkins Jr • Anne Hoskins • William Hughes • Snezana Jovcevski • Ken Jurman • Tom Kabat • Nick Kasza • Kathy Kaufman • Marshall Korman • Nick Korth • Mark Kraemer • Ethan Kraus • Taylor Krause • Archit Krishna • Melissa La Marca • Annie Lappé • Kelley Lawler • Jack Lee • Stefanie Leung • Andrew Light • Hannah Lindsell • Karla Loeb • Peter Lowenthal • Hong Ma • Cole Marker • Louis Marrero • Erica McConnell • Alexander McDonough • Klaus McGinnis • Hannah Merchant • Fernanda Moreno • Jacob Mulford • Erika Myers • Chris Nichols • Jamie Nolan • Daniel Paek • Anthony Page • Noelle Paige • Lori Paine • Avery Palmer • Terence Parker • Matt Parker • William R. Parsons • Bob Phelps • Laura Porter • Loretta Prencipe • Heather Rhodes-Weaver • Jake Rozmaryn • Brian Schoen • Michael Scully • Robert Seitz • Jack Shaw • Polly N. Shaw • Larry Sherwood • Carolyn Sherwood Call • Larry Shirley • Stephanie Sienkowski • Charles Sills • Daniel Simon • Maria Simpson • Scott Sklar • Venkatesh Srinivas • Thomas Starrs • Nancy Sweeney • Elizabeth Tate • Dub Taylor • Mishal Thadani • Carol Sue Tombari • Scott Townley • Jason Turner • Carlos Alberto Velazquez • Chante Vorster • Scott Wallace • Emma Wang • Sha Wang • Sara Watson • Quinn Weick • Anne Weisberg • Jane M. Weissman • Kyle Wiley • Leah Wilkinson • Elektra Williams • Kyle Wiley • John Wilson • Josh Wink • Alexander Winn • Jacob Wolfe • Jetta Wong • Andie Wyatt • Leigh Yeatts • Andrew Zimdahl

Sponsorships/Corporate Support
Amalgamated Bank
APA Solar
Boviet Solar
Building Performance Institute
California Energy Commission
Energeia Works
Energy Innovation
Erthos Solar
Fluke Corporation
FSEC Energy Research Center
Lumina Foundation
Plus Power
Renewables Forward
Silicon Valley Bank
Solar United Neighbors
Grants & Contracts

Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
Bank of America Charitable Foundation
Barr Foundation
Energy Foundation
McKnight Foundation
National Grid
Tilia Fund
Vote Solar
U.S. Department of Energy
Maine Public Utilities Commission
U.S. Economic Development Administration
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)