Inspectors for Iowa PV online trainingOver 70 electrical inspectors and contractors gathered on October 17th at the Prairie Meadows Hotel near Des Moines to learn about inspecting solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Julie Brazeau, Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), presented the six-hour training class developed by IREC and the International Electrical Inspector Association (IAEI).

The MREA, the Regional Training Provider for the Midwest, manages the Midwest Solar Training Network (MSTN). MREA provides instructor development opportunities and organizing a network of instructors, installers, engineers, administrators, and other industry stakeholders to create and share instructional resources.

“We were pleased with the large turnout,” said Julie. “We know there’s a real appetite for this kind of information.”

Code officials and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) provide a critical link in the process of PV installation applications and the permitting process. The SITN is substantially increasing the reach and scale of solar training available to these individuals through the Photovoltaic Online Training course.

John Claeys, senior electrical inspector, City of Davenport, Iowa, was impressed with the training.

“I took away a better understanding of not only the installations, but also the up front requirements for permit issuance. That has been the biggest struggle for me as we begin to evaluate projects and now I know what to begin to ask.”

Jerry DePenning, Education Chair of the Iowa IAEI, helped coordinate this training as a part of the annual fall meeting of the Iowa IAEA.

The training is a part of the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, a national collaborative effort to make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by the end of the decade.

The Midwest Solar Training Network (MSTN) will be presenting additional solar inspection training in 2014. For more information contact Julie Brazeau or visit the MSTN website.

Source: Julie Brazeau, MSTN