New Solar PV Training Courses to Improve Job Efficiency and Safety
IREC and a team of partners are launching a free series of self-paced, interactive, online professional development courses on the plan review and permitting process for residential solar PV systems.
Albany, NY and Washington, D.C. (March 7, 2022) – The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and a team of partners are launching a free series of self-paced, interactive, online professional development courses on the plan review and permitting process for residential solar PV systems. The series covers the primary tasks to confirm the electrical, structural, and fire code compliance of residential roof-mounted PV systems prior to issuing a permit.
IREC developed the course series in partnership with clean energy codes and building safety experts at the International Code Council (ICC), International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI), National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Slipstream, and University of Central Florida – FSEC Energy Research Center.
The new solar PV plan review and permitting training courses are available free of charge on IREC’s online learning management system (LMS) at CleanEnergyTraining.org.
“Building safety professionals need concise, easy to use, and accurate information that fits in their busy schedules,” said Larry Sherwood, President and CEO at IREC. “IREC-developed courses can be taken on a lunch hour and then used in the field that afternoon. This will help local officials safely and efficiently approve clean solar energy installations that benefit the entire community.”
With a focus on upskilling the current workforce, filling knowledge gaps, and providing training for the workforce of the future, this 12-part series was developed with the adult learner in mind. IREC has expertise in designing and producing high-quality learning experiences that facilitate active, participatory, and skills-based professional development.
Far beyond the traditional “click and review” approach to online learning, IREC’s industry-vetted training is based on a series of widely accessed classroom-based courses and provides real-world practice. Learners evaluate actual residential solar PV system plans as they complete interactive activities. They can choose to complete courses on topics specific to their job function, or they can complete the entire series and review a full permit application.
“Code officials play a critical role in ensuring that the latest energy-based technologies are deployed safely,” said Ryan M. Colker, ICC’s Vice President, Innovation. “The International Code Council is pleased to continue our collaboration with IREC to deliver the training and professional development resources that our members need to remain current in these areas.”
The CleanEnergyTraining.org website provides professionals interested in emerging clean energy technology with easy access to collaboratively developed, industry vetted, up-to-date clean energy educational resources and training courses with the opportunity for free CEUs. Additional resources are available at CleanEnergyClearinghouse.org.
The new courses build on IREC’s extensive work assisting local government officials with timely and efficient permit approvals for solar PV projects. For example, the IREC-led SolSmart program developed simplified permitting guidelines for local officials, and IREC offers online training on the new SolarAPP+ automated permitting platform.
IREC has developed these courses under the Educational Materials for Professional Organizations Working on Efficiency and Renewable Energy Developments (EMPOWERED) funding program, a collaborative effort across Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Solar Energy Technologies Office, Building Technologies Office, and the Vehicle Technologies Office to develop training programs and resources for professionals interacting with new energy technologies, such as solar PV, energy storage, electric vehicle infrastructure, and grid-enabled and advanced building systems.
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) builds the foundation for rapid adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency to benefit people, the economy, and our planet. IREC has been trusted for its independent clean energy expertise for 40 years, since its founding in 1982. For more information, visit www.irecusa.org or follow IREC on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.
About the US Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The mission of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy. Its vision is a strong and prosperous America powered by clean, affordable, and secure energy. Learn more at energy.gov/eere.