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Listed below are links, documents and assorted information sources that may be of interest to educational partners that have been trained at the Florida Solar Energy Center in both photovoltaics and solar water heating. It is recommended that interested parties check this site weekly to find the latest updates. These include:

Note that even though you may have missed the original webinar presentation date, the webinars are still available to view at your convenience and as part of classroom instruction. See Concluded Webinars below.

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), the national administrator of the Solar Instructor Training Network also posts a listing of webinars that would be of interest to solar instructors. This listing can be viewed at the IREC Trainer Resources web site.

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Upcoming Webinars

As PV installed capacity continues to grow, systems age, sizes increase, and lessons are learned, operations and maintenance (O&M) has become one of the fastest-growing segments of the PV industry. The reasons for O&M are many: preventative maintenance is much less expensive than reactive maintenance; it helps maximize system uptime and availability; it's essential to maintain equipment warranties; and potential problems can be nipped in the bud. 

In addition, proper design and installation of PV systems is important for efficient long-term reliability, proper system commissioning­ - regardless of system size - sets the stage. Commissioning encompasses the unique opportunity to verify the quality of the installation; test subsystems and "fire up" the system; verify performance; fix any issues that arise; and, of course, document the tests and results. 

The webinars are free but you must register to attend. These webinars will be recorded and archived on the IREC website.

PV O&M and Commissioning of PV Systems
Wednesday, April 23, 2-3 PM EST

New analytical tools for commissioning and performance verification allow fast access to information that previously had been very difficult to gather. Whether commissioning a system, locating intermittent ground faults, or looking for module failures, knowing the techniques and methodology to safely and effectively use these new tools requires training. REGISTER HERE

Operations and Maintenance of PV Systems
Tuesday, May 6, 2-3 PM EST

O&M strategies and common tools and procedures will be covered. The goal is ensuring peak productivity, predictable ROI, and PV system safety and longevity. REGISTER HERE

PRESENTERS:

Rebekah Hren is an IREC Certified Instructor for PV and curriculum developer for Solar Energy International, NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installation Professional, and licensed electrician. Rebekah has a decade of experience working in the PV industry, and is currently a Project Engineer at solar farm developer O2 Energies. She is responsible for insuring that design and construction of utility-scale sites exceeds National Electrical Code requirements, and for maintaining efficient fleet production. She is also a frequent author of technical articles for PV trade magazines. Prior to joining O2 Energies, Rebekah served as Vice President of Honey Electric Solar, Inc. and was responsible for design and installation of grid-direct and battery-backup PV systems.  www.solarenergy.org

Brian Mehalic is a NABCEP-certified PV professional and IREC-certified PV instructor with over 12 years of experience designing, installing, servicing, and inspecting all types and sizes of PV systems. He began his career as Lead Installer and Project Manager at EV Solar Products in Arizona, where he was directly responsible for the design and installation of over 150 photovoltaic systems, ranging from residential off-grid to commercial grid-interactive. For the past several years Brian has worked as Project Engineer for O2 Energies in North Carolina, advising the developer on system design, modeling performance, and performing quality assurance inspections on over 23 megawatts of ground-mounted PV. Currently, Brian is a curriculum developer and instructor for Solar Energy International and North Carolina State University, a frequent contributor to SolarPro and Home Power magazines, and an independent consultant providing services ranging from system design and quality assurance inspections to commissioning, troubleshooting, and maintenance. www.solarenergy.org

 

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Concluded Webinars

U.S. Solar Market and Instalaltion Trends 2013
Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

"In 2012, more than 90,000 photovoltaic installations were installed in the U.S. with a total capacity of 3.3 GW. This represents a 75% increase over installations completed in 2011," said Larry Sherwood, IREC vice president & COO, and author of IREC's U.S. Solar Market and Installation Trends Report 2013. "Installed utility capacity in 2012 increased by almost 2.5 times compared with 2011 and represents over half of the installed capacity last year.  Distributed capacity also grew, but by a more modest 33%."

IREC's highly anticipated annual report, U.S. Solar Market and Installation Trends 2013, compiles and analyzes public data on U.S. solar installations by technology, state and market sector for 2012. Now in its sixth year, IREC's 2013 Solar Market Trends Report covers solar technologies that produce electricity, including photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP).

The webinar will feature information about PV installations in 2012, including growth trends by sector and state rankings for installations. If you're involved in the solar industry, or wish to become involved, this webinar will provide valuable information about the rapidly changing solar market in the U.S.

The IREC Solar Market and Installation Trends Report will be released at the end of June 2013.

Watch the replay

 

Solar Content Integration: Creating a Nimble Solar Workforce
December 4, 2012

This free webinar with Dr. Jerry Ventre explores options for developing a more nimble solar workforce by affecting the education and training curriculum for occupations in closely related fields.  The suggested approach provides needed instruction while minimizing the effects of market volatility and job uncertainty.  Examples and options will be provided for selected occupations across the solar industry value chain, and advantages to key stakeholder groups will be noted.  The approach presented is complementary to the Solar Career Map developed by Dr. Sarah White and IREC's best practices document entitled Solar Content Integration. 

Click here for webinar presentation

Solar Content Integration: A North Carolina Case
October 2nd, 2012

In building the solar workforce, is it better to educate and train solar specialists or integrate solar knowledge and add-on skills to existing curricula?   That’s the question Andrew McMahan, Energy Sector Director at Central Carolina Community College, will answer, based on his experience as the North Carolina Community College System’s lead college for its Code Green Super Curriculum Improvement Project (CIP). 
 
In this free webinar from the Solar Instructor Training Network, Andrew will talk about the Code Green Super CIP, a North Carolina statewide initiative which has been developing improvements in curriculum and continuing education green programs in five sectors: energy, transportation, engineering technology, environment and building.  The curricula integrates renewable energy training and workforce development into  existing vocational programs at all 58 community colleges across North Carolina.  Andy will share his experiences integrating renewable energy curricula into existing training programs.  


Click here for webinar presentation

 

Webinar: Emerging Approaches to Efficient Rooftop Solar Permitting
June 6, 2012

There is general consensus that to bring the price of rooftop solar installations down significantly in the near future there need to be improvements made to increase the efficiency of the permitting process for these systems. With thousands of different cities and counties having control over permitting, there is a strong need to share ideas on how to move improvements forward on an expeditious basis while also balancing the desire to retain local control over the decision-making process.

This webinar discussed approaches being used across the country to help catalyze action at a local, regional and state level to improve the efficiency of the rooftop permitting process and will highlight specific improvements being put into place.  It outlined the pros and cons of these approaches and discussed how application of different strategies may vary depending upon the governance structure in place.  The discussion centered on examples highlighted in the Interstate Renewable Energy Council's report "Sharing Success: Emerging Approaches to Efficient Rooftop Solar Permitting" which was released recently.

Presenters Sky Stanfield and Erica Schroeder from Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP focused on the procedural components of the permitting process, and not the technical standards, to give participants various strategies that can be used in their own communities. The webinar seeks to facilitate discussion and to provide concrete examples of methods for improving the rooftop permitting process that benefit installers as well as local governments.

Click here for the webinar presentation

During the webinar a Massachusetts report on inline permitting was mentioned. The link to that report Automated Permit Tracking Software Systems: A Guide for Massachusetts Municipalities (Jun. 2007) is:

http://www.mass.gov/hed/docs/permitting/permittingguide-softwareguide.pdf

Webinar: Firefighter Safety and Photovoltaic Systems
April 2012

This webinar will share the results of research conducted by UL to examine the fire service concerns of photovoltaic (PV) systems and the potential impact of firefighting operations.   These concerns included firefighter vulnerability to electrical and casualty hazards when mitigating a fire involving PV systems. The need for this project is significant due to the increasing use of PV systems, growing at a rate of 30% annually.  As a result of greater utilization, traditional firefighter tactics for suppression, ventilation and overhaul have been complicated, leaving firefighters vulnerable to potentially severe hazards.  Though the electrical and fire hazards associated with PV systems have been known for some time, a very limited body of knowledge and insufficient data exists to understand the risks to the extent that the fire service has been unable to develop safety solutions and respond in a safe manner.

Presenters Bob Backstrom from UL's Corporate Research Department, and Dennis Grubb, Assistant Fire Marshal from the Orange County Fire Authority, will share data and specific examples that will assist local governments and the fire service community to develop best practices to reduce firefighter death and injury.  Participants in this webinar will come away with an understanding of the tactical challenges to fire fighters poised by PV installations and how to address those challenges.

Click here for the webinar presentation.

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Webinar - Real Estate Solar Valuing Tool
April 2012

Geoff Klise from Sandia National Laboratories and Jamie Johnson from Solar Power Electric will be discussing the recently released PV Value™ spreadsheet tooldeveloped for the appraisal and real estate industry to aid in making a market value determination for residential and commercial solar PV systems.  PV Value™ uses an income capitalization approach to determine the capitalized value, which is the present value of the energy produced during the power production warranty lifetime.  This tool has been formally endorsed by the Appraisal Institute and is being used to educate appraisers on how to value a solar PV system as part of a real estate transaction.  The Appraisal Institute’s residential green energy efficient addendum has a section that was written to incorporate the inputs from the PV Value™ tool, which will make it easier for appraisers to record the necessary information to make an estimate of valuation.  Funding for developing PV Value™ initiated with DOE EERE for a Solar America Communities project and is now being funded as a market transformation activity under the SunShot Initiative.

This tool can be useful to others in the solar industry who work with potential customers, especially in cases where the property owner may sell the property before the system is ‘paid back’ or in comparing the benefits of ownership or leasing.  An issue that will come up as homes with solar PV are sold is tracking down system information so the appraiser can make a determination of value.  This underscores the need for ‘permanent documentation’ that could be readily available to an appraiser or solar professional in cases where the owner has lost the system paperwork or the installation company is no longer in business.  In addition, because appraisers are not going to judge system quality or verify system performance, there is an opportunity for solar professionals to provide a PV system performance analysis, which can help appraisers more accurately provide a determination of value

The webinar presentation is at: http://vimeo.com/40703731

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Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)
March 22, 2012

Established in 1995, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. DSIRE contains in­formation on over 2,700 renewable energy and energy efficiency pro­grams and is visited by more than 180,000 unique users per month. An ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. DSIRE is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In this webinar, DSIRE Senior Policy Analyst, Brian Lips, will give an overview of the database and its functionality, including DSIRE SOLAR which provides solar-specific policy information for both PV and solar thermal. Brian will also discuss solar policies and markets, and explain why some states have solar markets and why some don’t.

The webinar presentation is at: http://vimeo.com/39101464

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Webinar - Solar America Board for Codes and Standards:
An Overview
January 2012

The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) was formed to identify current issues, establish a dialogue among key stakeholders, and catalyze appropriate activities to support the centralized development of photovoltaic (PV) system codes and standards. The overarching goal of the Solar ABCs is to facilitate and accelerate the installation of high quality, safe PV systems. This program also provides access for PV manufacturers, sellers, buyers, users and regulators of a particular PV material, product, process or service to sponsor PV codes and standards research studies to help foster the acceleration of the PV market.

In this webinar, Solar ABCs Project Administrator, Larry Sherwood, will give an overview of the program and talk about current codes and standards issues including: preventing fires, ensuring firefighter safety, making sure the power rating is as labeled, and creating good permitting and inspection practices.  This is a free webinar; however, you must register to attend.

The webinar presentation is at: http://vimeo.com/35928652

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The 2011 National Solar Jobs Census
December 2011


Released in October at Solar Power International in Dallas, the 2011 National Solar Jobs Census identified more than 17,198 solar employment sites and 100,237 solar jobs in all 50 states. The solar industry’s job growth rate of 6.8 percent is significantly higher than the 2 percent net job loss in fossil fuel power generation and the economy-wide expectation of 0.7 percent growth over the same period. Census 2011 contains additional information on the top twenty states for solar jobs, employer workforce challenges and needs, and recommendations for employers, policymakers and workforce training providers.  The survey examined employment along the solar value chain, including installation, wholesale trade, manufacturing, utilities and all other fields and includes growth rates and job numbers for 31 separate occupations. The report included data from more than 2,100 solar company survey respondents. The National Solar Jobs Census 2011 was conducted by The Solar Foundation and BW Research Partnership’s Green LMI Consulting division with technical assistance from Cornell University.

Post webinar material at: http://thesolarfoundation.org/research/national-solar-jobs-census-2011

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Solar Instructor Training Network Seminar Series
ISPQ Accreditation: Requirements, Procedure, and Value
November 2011


Join the IREC  team for an informative, interactive program about the credentialing of training organizations and trainers. IREC ISPQ provides third-party verification of curriculum, administration, facilities, policies, assessment, staff, industry linkage and resources and has become a trusted stamp of quality. Learn more about the requirements, procedure and value of this collaborative process. Please come prepared with your questions to participate in our interactive Q & A.

This webinar, and all webinars within the SITN “Seminar Series”, will be recorded and posted on the SITN website, www.sitnusa.org, for future viewing.

ISPQ Accreditation: Requirements, Procedure, and Value

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Interstate Renewable Energy Council
Informational Webinar II for IREC’s New Standard
for Energy-Related Certificate Programs

November 2011

Part II in a series of webinars on the new IREC Standard for renewable energy and energy efficiency/weatherization certificate programs. You will learn more about the process that will be followed for the joint Accreditation Program with the American National Standards Institute, as well as criteria for organizations who will participate in the Pilot Program. Please bring your questions for this interactive webinar.

Informational Webinar II for IREC’s New Standard for Energy-Related Certificate Programs

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Interstate Renewable Energy Council
Standard for Energy-Related Certification Programs

October 2011

Learn about the purpose, value, and general requirements of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council's (IREC’s) new Standard for renewable energy and energy efficiency certificate programs.
 
IREC's new standard does not replace IREC’s ISPQ 01022 Standard. Rather, it will provide the framework for a specialty accreditation that will raise the bar for training the clean energy workforce. In focusing exclusively on certificate training programs, IREC’s new Standard provides training programs an opportunity to be recognized for meeting a quality standard. 
 
The new IREC Standard describes curriculum, administrative, personnel, facilities and equipment requirements for credit or non-credit certificate programs training the energy efficiency/weatherization and renewable energy workforce. Assessment to this new Standard will provide third-party verification that certificate programs meet and document educational processes, specific energy content and requirements for design, delivery and assessment for issuance of a market-valued certificate.
 
The new Standard is currently in draft form with an expected release date for public comment on November 1, 2011. 
 
IREC will be working in partnership with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for joint accreditation to this new Standard. Candidates who are successful in meeting the requirements will be awarded ANSI-IREC accreditation.

Assuring Quality for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Training

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Solar Career Pathways Mapping Project
October 2011

Matching the skills of American workers with new opportunities in the clean energy economy will require strong worker training programs at all levels. Fortunately, because many of the jobs created by investments in clean energy are in occupations that already exist, the training systems needed to prepare workers for these jobs are also largely in place.

For the past year, Dr. White has been the lead on the Solar Instructor Training Network's Solar Career Pathways Mapping Project. The Mapping Project will result in a career lattice that describes a broad spectrum of cross-sector pathways within the solar industry.  In this webinar, you’ll learn about this important tool and its role in developing a highly skilled solar workforce.   The Solar Career Pathways Mapping Project will be launched at the Solar Power International Conference October 18-20, 2011.  This SITN "Seminar Series" webinar will be another chance to hear the project's lead, Dr. Sarah White, Center on Wisconsin Strategy, talk about this important tool.

Below, please find links to the .pdf of the slides from the presentation as well as the recording.  Please note that the recording is split in two where technical glitches occurred.

Video of Webinar presentation

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Installer Safety 101
September 2011

As the solar industry continues to experience substantial growth, customers, employers, and regulators are increasingly focused on proper safety measures for solar installers. Safety is a critical component of any installation, and development of a company safety program is key to remaining compliant with state and federal regulations. Knowledge of these regulations, along with development of a safety program, is increasingly important to remain competitive in the solar installation market.

Please join the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the DOE Solar Installer Training Network for a webinar to learn:

  1. The basics of solar installation safety;
  2. The federal regulations that apply to solar installations; and
  3. The basics of developing a company safety program.

This webinar is presented by the SEIA Installer Safety & Workforce Development Task Force, and is the first of a planned series of webinars. This webinar is presented in association with the Interstate Renewable Energy Council as the National Administrator of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Installer Training Network.

Below, please find links to the .pdf of the slides from the presentation as well as the recording.  Please note that the recording is split in two where technical glitches occurred.

Slides: http://www.seia.org/galleries/pdf/Installer_Safety_101_Public_Webinar_Presentation_Slides_9.29.11.pdf

Recordings:
Part A – http://www.seia.org/media/Installer_Safety_101_Public_Webinar_Recording_Part_A_9.29.11.wmv

Part B – http://www.seia.org/media/Installer_Safety_101_Public_Webinar_Recording_Part_B_9.29.11.wmv

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Solar ABCs Webinar: Changes to 2012 I-Codes Affecting Solar
September 2011

The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) cordially invites you to register for a free webinar that will provide information about the changes to the 2012 International Code Council's (ICC) model construction codes affecting solar. Model construction codes, including the International Building Code (IBC), the International Fire Code (IFC), and the International Residential Code (IRC), have sections relevant to photovoltaic (PV) installations. The 2012 edition of the IBC includes revisions related to the fire classification rating of PV modules and to PV wind load calculations. The 2012 edition of the IFC specifies requirements for PV markings, access and spacing, as well as the location of DC conductors. In addition, the ICC is developing a new International Green Construction Code (IGCC), which is currently in the final phase of adoption and will also include sections relevant to PV.

In this free webinar, you will learn about the 2012 revisions to model construction codes that affect PV installations and the Solar ABCs publications that will help you understand and interpret these revisions. John Taecker from Underwriters Laboratories and Bill Brooks from Brooks Engineering will lead the webinar along with Christine Covington from SEIA who will provide industry perspective on the development of the 2015 editions of these codes.

Webinar Materials have been posted at this web site.

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Solar Heating and Cooling:
Best Practices in Training Laboratory Development


This webinar shared best practices about solar heating and cooling labs with some of today's most experienced instructors.  It was open to any educational institution currently receiving training through the Department of Energy's Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN).

Link to the recorded Laboratory webinar.

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Documents

Solar Instructor Training Network Best Practices Documents

Understanding the Cal Fire Solar Photovoltaic Installation Guideline

Solar Photovoltaic Installation Guideline - California Dept of Forestry and Fire Protection - Office of the State Fire Marshall

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Articles

Solar Energy is Ready. The U.S. Isn't

Manufacturing Solar Photovoltaic Products in the United States

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Related Links

Department of Energy's Solar Instructor Training Network

Florida Solar Energy Center
This site gives the dates and times of the short courses that are offered at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa, FL.

EERE Network News