NABCEP Releases Small Wind Installer Certification Application and Exam Resource Guide

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) announced that it is now accepting applications to sit for the first administration of the Small Wind Installer Certification exam. This is NABCEP’s first certification for installers of a non-solar technology. It will target practitioners who specify, install and maintain small wind energy systems and equipment.

In addition, to help applicants prepare for the exam, the board just released its Small Wind Installer Certification Exam Resource Guide.

The first small wind certifying exam is scheduled for Saturday, September 11, 2010, at various locations in the U.S.   The small wind installers’ exam is based on the task analysis, a blueprint of the various skills required by an installer to successfully and safely install any small wind-electric system. The task analysis was developed by NABCEP’s small wind technical committee and vetted by a number of small wind stakeholders including successful installers, manufacturers, supply chain companies, public benefits program administrators, state energy offices, and small wind advocates. “The committee has chosen what it feels are useful references for the skills, knowledge set, and practices cited in the task analysis,” said Ezra Auerbach, NABCEP’s Executive Director.  “We are confident that a working knowledge of the content of the resources we have listed will go a long way to successfully and safely installing any small wind-electric system, and prepare you for taking the exam.”

The task analysis contains eight sections. The percentage assigned to each section represents the emphasis that the exam committee gave to each section when creating and choosing questions for the NABCEP small wind installer exam. Included in the Guide is a list of basic skills, from computer to utility interconnection to construction is included, and a list of basic tools, from tape measure to hard hat.   The resources are categorized as ‘general’ and ‘specific.’ The general resources precede the task analysis.  “A competent small wind installer should be quite familiar with these resources,” said Auerbach.   Specific resources are those that show up in the individual sections of the task analysis, are supplemental to the primary resources, and pertinent to the section in which they are listed. According to Auerbach, the resources have not been prioritized or weighted in any way.  “All of them are of significant value,” he said.  “Practitioners may also have a working knowledge of favorite resources that have served them well for small wind installations.  It’s important to realize that these are resources, not study manuals or keys that will unlock the small wind installer exam questions.”

Don Warfield, Chair of NABCEP’s Board, says, “The launch of this new Small Wind Installer Certification is another step in the right direction for NABCEP. The organization now offers a voluntary installer certification to Solar PV, Solar Thermal and Small Wind installers. This is a great achievement for NABCEP since these credentials support the increased adoption of three technologies essential to the renewable energy future of North America.” Mick Sagrillo, a small wind stakeholder representative on the NABCEP Board of Directors and owner of Sagrillo Power and Light in Wisconsin says, “Small wind has become a formidable industry in the United States, with over $82 million in sales in 2009.  The past three years has seen the installation of 50 MW of small wind turbines in the US.  This is explosive growth, and nearly all of these systems were installed by small company installers.  Clearly, the time is right for the NABCEP Small Wind Installer Certification.” Ezra Auerbach, Executive Director of NABCEP, agrees, saying; “As a credentialing organization for renewable energy practitioners, the small wind installer certification is a natural fit within our growing suite of professional certifications. Like all of our other programs this one was developed with active, industry stakeholder involvement. It is always gratifying to see competitors working side-by-side on NABCEP committees; it points to the depth of commitment our volunteers bring to the table.”

The eligibility requirements to sit for this certification exam can be found in NABCEP’s new all-inclusive Candidate Information Handbook under Section 5. Applications are open and the online application is accessible from the NABCEP homepage:  The first exam will be administered on September 11, 2010 with applications due on July 9, 2010.

Source: North American Board for Certified Energy Practitioners


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