The Solar Foundation and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) have signed an agreement to merge into a single, expanded not-for-profit organization dedicated to the rapid adoption of clean energy.
The merger will combine the strengths of two national clean energy organizations and effectively double the workforce. The Solar Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of solar energy and related technologies. Since its relaunch in 2010, it can look back on a 10-year success story of leading research, education and capacity building programs. IREC has been known for its independent clean energy expertise for nearly 40 years and has played a critical role in building the foundation for the rapid adoption of clean energy by removing regulatory, human and economic barriers.
In addition to the increased impact, the longstanding mutual respect between IREC and The Solar Foundation as well as natural synergies between the organizations’ programs were important factors in the decision to merge. The combined organization will support the accelerated growth of renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as a 100% clean energy future that is reliable, resilient and fair.
In the coming months, the two organizations will work together to integrate their programs. The merger is expected to be completed in mid-2021. As soon as the merger is complete, all of the Solar Foundation’s programs will be brought together in the IREC. Andrea Luecke, President and CEO of the Solar Foundation, volunteered in January to step down after a successful merger agreement in order to facilitate the merger talks. Larry Sherwood, President and COO of IREC, will remain in his position and lead the merged organization.
“I couldn’t be happier to announce this timely and transformative strategic change,” says Lücke. “I gave it my all for over 10 years, but as my board and I moved our technology focus beyond solar, it became clear that we needed to have a strategic partnership that would allow us to be even more effective in the next decade achieve. After a long search, I am pleased to have found the perfect partner in the IREC. ”
IREC and The Solar Foundation lead robust human resource development programs with an emphasis on diversity, inclusion and equity in clean energy. Both work closely with state and local governments to help code and approve requirements and remove barriers to clean energy development.
The scope of the combined organization includes all renewable energy technologies (distributed and utility scale) as well as energy efficiency. It will drive change through three strategic avenues: regulatory engagement, human resource development and local initiatives (including permitting, code and inspection issues). All programs of both organizations will continue to operate. The combined organization will have offices in Washington, DC and Albany, NY, with many employees working remotely.
Photo: The landing page of the Solar Foundation