The International Code Council’s members have tentatively approved two Solar Energy Industries Association proposals that designate solar, storage and wind projects as Risk Category II infrastructure.
A proposal from a Federal Emergency Management Agency advisory panel would have deemed solar, storage and wind as Risk Category IV, the highest risk category for building standards. That standard was approved, but the SEIA proposal provides a carveout for solar and storage facilities.
The measures were part of the ICC’s building code development process for 2024 codes. The council sets U.S. building code standards, which include risk categories.
More than 300 companies, including Tesla, last month urged ICC voters to reject the FEMA proposal and support the SEIA developed standards. They argued placing solar and storage projects in the highest risk category was unnecessary and would have driven up costs, making some projects too expensive to build.
The results aren’t final until they have been certified by the ICC validation committee and confirmed by the organization’s board.
SEIA urged clean energy advocates to continue participating in codes and standards forums.
“The taxpayer-funded process managed by government agencies such as FEMA to develop building codes proposals should allow more collaboration, transparency and participation from stakeholders,” Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA president and CEO, said Friday in a statement.
FEMA’s process lacked input from experts on how the proposal would affect project economics, grid reliability, sustainability and climate change, she said.