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IREC announces new educational resource to improve solar permitting, inspection

Written by: Leonard Parker | solar news | December 6, 2021

The Sustainable Energy Action Committee and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council announced the launch of a new clearinghouse website housing educational resources and recommendations related to the permitting and inspection of clean energy systems.

The Sustainable Energy Action Committee (SEAC) brings together diverse clean energy stakeholders to develop consensus-based solutions to code enforcement and permitting challenges that affect the installation of clean energy systems, including solar, energy storage, electric vehicle charging equipment, and other technologies. SEAC’s activities are administered by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council under a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The website includes an extensive library of SEAC resources related to clean energy permitting and inspection. These include new informational bulletins providing guidance on how to apply the requirements of the International Residential Code (IRC) to residential energy storage systems, whether a jurisdiction uses the 2018 IRC or the 2021 IRC.

It also includes links to a wide array of other clean energy permitting and inspection resources. These links to model codes, training courses for code officials on how to inspect solar PV systems or use the SolarAPP+ automated permitting system for residential rooftop solar projects, and training for firefighters on how to safely respond to fire on a solar-equipped structure. Additional resources will be added regularly over the coming years; interested parties can subscribe to receive updates on SEAC’s work here.

The website’s resources are applicable to many different clean energy stakeholders — from AHJs, such as local building and fire departments; to clean energy contractors, manufacturers and suppliers; electric utilities; testing labs and other groups. Each of these audiences is represented in SEAC’s membership of over 900 participants across the nation.

“SEAC plays a unique role, providing an inclusive forum for all clean energy stakeholders to collaborate on practical solutions to clean energy permitting and inspection challenges,” said SEAC administrator and IREC president and CEO, Larry Sherwood. “This is critically important because confusion about permitting and inspection requirements can increase the cost and time it takes to deploy clean energy projects.

In addition to IREC, SEAC’s official partners include the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI), the International Code Council (ICC), UL LLC, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA), and the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA). These organizations help oversee SEAC’s activities as members of the SEAC Steering Committee.

News item from IREC