N.C. Solar Center Offers New Training Programs for building analysts, green associates, educators

BPI, LEED GA, SIS, Oh my! The training programs team has been busy creating an alphabet soup of workshops for anyone with an interest in green energy. After all, the renewable energy and energy efficiency industry isn’t just about installers and energy raters. The industry can only thrive when there are financial analysts, accountants, sales people, educators and a host of other job descriptions that exist in other sectors of the economy.

In May, 15 professionals completed the Certificate in Renewable Energy Management (CREM). This program aims to help businesses in individuals navigate the complexities of renewable energy project development and management. The 40 credit hour workshop was kicked off by Southern Energy Management’s Bob Kingery last March 15th and ended with a talk by renowned Boston lawyer Forrest Milder who brought it home with class on the Practical Aspects of Renewable Energy Project Development. Four groups presented their projects, ranging from a community solar project to an industrial combined heat and power application with geothermal and solar back-up.

July brings a string of brand new workshops. Presented jointly with CleanEdison, the Solar Center is now offering the Building Performance Institute – Building Analyst (BPI-Building Analyst) five-day workshop and the two-day Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Green Associates (LEED-GA) workshop. The BPI – Building Analyst is the newest workshop to become integrated into the Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) Diploma Series. As such, taking this workshop together with two other 40-hour courses would count towards your RET Diploma. Other workshops belonging to the RET Diploma Series include PV fundamentals, PV-Advanced, Solar Thermal, Wind, and CREM.

On top of the new energy efficiency and green building workshops, the Center is also focused on bringing instructor training to a different level. In 2010, the Solar Center was named one of eight Regional Training Providers in the country to be a part of the U.S. Department of Energy funded Solar Instructor Training Network. Originally focused on training instructors to teach future installers, the Center has expanded instructor training to not only involve technical instructors in community colleges, but also to include STEM teachers and other tertiary level educators in other disciplines who might want to integrate solar topics in the classroom. Thus, the Solar Instructor Series was created.

The Solar Instructor Series is a program for educators who are committed to introducing photovoltaic  (PV) concepts into the classroom. Whether it is in a basics of electricity class, a sustainable business course, or an alternative energy degree, educators in this program will gain information and access to resources to help them teach solar to their students.  There are 11 workshops in this series. All of these workshops are available to the public and can be accessed without being in the program. But only those accepted in and are committed to the goals of the program can avail of the deep discounts to these workshop. To get the list of courses offered under the Solar Instructor Series, and to apply, go to go.ncsu.edu/solartrainers.