IREC wins DOE awards to decrease soft costs of solar + storage


The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) was selected to receive awards for two major new solar and solar-plus-storage projects beginning in 2020.

The projects will result in solutions that decrease the soft costs and red tape associated with installing solar and solar-plus-storage systems for new and developing solar markets.

The selections were announced as part of the Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2019 funding program, in which $128 million will be awarded to fund 75 projects, 19 of which will focus on soft cost reduction. This includes direct costs such as siting and permitting, as well as financing and compliance with local codes, rules and regulations.

“IREC is pleased to learn that these two projects will be funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office,” said IREC president/CEO Larry Sherwood. “Our national and state-by-state work in both regulatory and workforce arenas provides the unique perspective, expertise and relationships needed to develop best practices that will enable the efficient growth of solar and solar+ storage in more states. Together, the projects will help streamline the interconnection process and permitting and code enforcement, reducing costs associated with development, which ultimately can be passed along to the consumer.”

Included are these IREC projects:

  • Develop Consensus Recommendations to Address Challenges with Solar and Solar + Storage Code Enforcement and Permitting
    IREC and its partners will address challenges to efficient permitting approvals by focusing on filling knowledge gaps. The team will survey stakeholders to learn what complicates code enforcement. They will develop consensus recommendations that advance adoption of data-driven permitting and inspection best practices, cutting administrative tape for safe solar and solar-plus-storage projects, ultimately leading to growth in new markets and reduced time and costs to developers and consumers.
  • Defining Safe and Efficient Interconnection Policies for Energy Storage and Solar + Storage to Improve Integration and Reduce Costs
    IREC’s regulatory team and partners will identify and address interconnection barriers to solar and energy storage by developing national best practices and technical solutions. A toolkit will be created that will inform the development and updating of state standards and utility tariffs, which will be used to educate and train regulators and utilities in at least 35 states. The project will help states and utilities reduce the costs and time it takes to process applications and to interconnect energy storage and solar-plus-storage systems safely, while maintaining grid reliability.

News item from IREC

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