The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has merged with The Solar Foundation to create a single, expanded nonprofit dedicated to the rapid adoption of clean energy. IREC and The Solar Foundation announced their intention to merge in November 2020, citing increased impact, longstanding mutual respect, and natural synergy between their programs.
With the merger of the organizations’ staff and operations completed, all of The Solar Foundation’s programs are now housed at IREC. The combined organization supports the accelerated growth of renewable energy and energy efficiency and a 100% clean energy future that is reliable, resilient, and equitable.
“This merger with The Solar Foundation marks a pivotal new chapter in IREC’s nearly forty year history of building the foundation for rapid adoption of clean energy. In these critical years for combating climate change, the dramatically increased impact enabled by this merger could not come at a better time,” said IREC President and CEO Larry Sherwood. “Our combined team has already been working closely together in the months leading up to the merger and I am incredibly proud of the efforts of our staff and boards to make this a seamless transition.”
“The Solar Foundation helped lead the way over the past decade as solar energy and battery storage became cost-competitive and a mainstream part of our lives,” said Mary Powell, Chair of the Board at The Solar Foundation and former CEO of Green Mountain Power. “I could not be more proud of what we have achieved, and I will be thrilled to see the new clean energy accomplishments that will be possible under the merger.”
Following the merger: IREC’s scope includes all renewable energy technologies (distributed and utility-scale) as well as energy efficiency. IREC will drive change via three strategic program areas: regulatory engagement, workforce development, and local initiatives (including permitting, code, and inspection issues).
Since 1982, IREC has provided independent technical expertise to tackle regulatory, workforce, and economic barriers to the growth of clean energy markets. Since its founding in 1977 and relaunch in 2010, The Solar Foundation was the leading national nonprofit dedicated to accelerating adoption of solar energy and related technologies, with a track record of leading cutting-edge research, education, and capacity building programs—including the Solar Jobs Census, the definitive measure of solar energy industry employment in the United States.
All of The Solar Foundation’s programs will continue operating under the IREC brand, including the Solar Jobs Census, the U.S. Solar Industry Diversity Study, SolSmart, Solar Ready Vets, and the Puerto Rican Solar Business Accelerator. The merged organization will maintain offices in Washington, D.C. and Albany, New York, with many employees working on a remote basis.
“Both IREC and The Solar Foundation have long been respected for their independent clean energy expertise. By uniting the strengths, resources, and talent of two of the leading clean energy nonprofits in the United States, this strategic merger opens the door to even more impactful efforts to accelerate the growth of clean energy and energy efficiency,” said Larry Shirley, Chair of the Board at IREC. “While the number of IREC employees is approximately doubling, we expect the organization’s impact to quadruple.”
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