By Maria O’Farrell
North Carolina Solar Center Training Program Manager
Since March 20, when the first North Carolina code official training took place, solar PV training for code officials, high school and community college instructors has been non-stop through the Southern Mid-Atlantic RTP at North Carolina Solar Center (NCSC).
“We’ve been on a steady roll of training since March when we offered our first code official training,” said Maria O’Farrell, Training Program Manager. “ In April, we offered code official training for Maryland and Virginia. We’re lining up speakers and curriculum for all of our 2013 Solar Instructor Series Offerings, including seven 40-hour courses and several short course workshops, as well as future code official trainings in North Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia.”
Things haven’t slowed down.
For five days in June, the NCSC RTP offered REPV (A): Advanced Design and Installation of PV Systems,” a 40-hour IREC Credential Training program. “There were 10 community college instructors from the Mid-Atlantic region (specifically Bladen County CC, Virginia Highlands CC, Fayetteville Tech CC, Robeson County CC, Alamance County CC, Dabney Lancaster CC and Piedmont CC) who attended this five-day training,” said O’Farrell. “This program is one of eight housed under the NCSC’s award-winning Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series and one of eleven under our DOE grant-funded Solar Instructor Series.”
The response has been enthusiastic. “These trainings are essential for our future,” said Dr. Jack Martin, Alamance Community College. “Alumni are creating the curriculum and establishing the businesses to power us sustainably into NOW.”
On June 12th, six STEM high school teachers and community college technical instructors attended a day-long workshop on designing PV worksheets and complementary activities. The next day, 26 code officials attended the second North Carolina code official training, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Insurance and the North Carolina Code Officials Qualifications Board. Credits for multiple trades were offered.
“We’ve had such a tremendous response to our code official training, we’re pulling together a resource web page with reports, guides, videos, and best practices,” said Maria O’Farrell.