U.S. Department of Energy - Solar Instructor Training Network

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Instructor Training Network was created to improve the quality and accessibility of solar installation training and expand the nation’s trained solar workforce. DOE funded a National Administrator and nine Regional Training Providers over a period of five years (2010-2014) to support the professional development of instructors who provide instruction on solar photovoltaic and solar heating and cooling installations. DOE expects more than 1,400 instructors will be trained across the nation, creating the capacity to train thousands of solar installers. The network will also collaborate and develop national curricula, sponsor workshops, create replicable training models for local instructors, and develop best practices.

Hudson Valley Community College was selected by DOE to coordinate the Northeast Region Solar Photovoltaic Instructor Training Network. Throughout this five year initiative Hudson Valley Community College is partnering with 25 educational institutions throughout the Northeast US to create a geographic blanket of ISPQ Accredited Training Programs with ISPQ Certified Instructors. Each partnering institution will receive funding for training equipment, instructor professional development and ISPQ Accreditation/Certification. Instructors affiliated with each participating institution will take part in a variety of training opportunities at the college's TEC-SMART facility in Malta, NY. The regional network will work together to develop and share best practices for photovoltaic instruction.

In Phase I of the DOE SITN Grant, HVCC held three Train-the-Trainer courses reaching 46 trainees within the Northeast Region. Phase I was concluded at the end of March 2012 and Phase II began in April 2012. Advanced Train-the-Trainer courses will be held in Phase II and will build off of our previous trainings. Code official trainings will also be held, building off of an online component which was unveiled at the National Meeting of Regional Training Providers in San Francisco, which HVCC participated in as RTP for the Northeast Region. The ultimate goal for the conclusion of Phase II of the Grant is for the partnering institutions to achieve ISPQ accreditation for their particular institution as well as ISPQ certification for their individual instructors.

The following colleges are participants in the Northeast Photovoltaic Instructor Training Network:

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Contact Information

Penny Hill
Associate Dean TEC-SMART
Phone: (518) 629-7294
Fax: (518) 629-4904

More Information

If you are interested in becoming a Solar Energy instructor or a student, please contact the designated project coordinator at the participating institution.

Cape Cod Community College
Robert Cody, Ph.D - Dean of Science, Technology, Math and Business

Clinton Community College
Paul DeDominicas – Coordinator, Workforce Development

Community College of Rhode Island
Jerry Bernardini – Chairman, Engineering & Technology

Dutchess Community College
Virginia Stoeffel - Assistant Dean, Office of Community Services and Special Programs

Eastern Maine Community College
Rick Reardon – Department Chair, Electrical Programs

Erie Community College
Eugene Covelli - Professor Emeritus, Project Coordinator

Fulton Montgomery Community College
Laura LaPointe – Coordinator, Center of Energy Efficiency & Building Science

Gateway Community College
David Cooper – Dean, Corporate & Continuing Education

Greenfield Community College
Teresa B. Jones- Program Coordinator, Renewable Energy Technologies

Lakes Region Community College
Carl Daniels - Department Chair, Energy Services and Technology/Electrical

MassachusettesBay Community College
Howard Ferris- Dean, Transportation and Energy Division

Massasoit Community College
Elaine Stewart – Dean, Workforce Development

Minuteman Career & Technical High School
Carol Brown- Coordinator, Green Initiatives

Mohawk Valley Community College
Donna Skibitski – Coordinator, Workforce Development Division

Mount Wachusett Community College
David Schmidt – Program Coordinator, Energy Management

Nagatuck Valley Community College
Mary Ann Fontaine – Director, Center for Business & Industry Training

Quinsigamond Community College
Mary Knittle - Program and Outreach Specialist, Renewable Energy

Roxbury Community College
Morrisset St. Preux – Assistant Dean, Division of Continuing Education & Community Services

Southern Maine Community College
Jamie McGhee – Instructor, Electrical Engineering Technologies

Springfield Technical Community College
Gary Mullett – Department Chair, Electronics Technology Cluster

Suffolk County Community College
Nina Leonhardt – Associate Dean, Continuing Education

SUNY Canton Community College
Art Garno - Professor, Energy Technologies Department

Three Rivers Community College
Jessie McCoy – Program Coordinator, Continuing Education and Community Services

Vermont Technical Community College
John Kidder, Ph.D - Director, Center for Sustainable Practices


Solar Career Pathways

The Solar Career Map Web site explores the many job opportunities available in the solar industry. Developed by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. in its capacity as the National Administrator of DOE’s Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN), the tool is intended for use by instructors, policy-makers and job-seekers. The interactive online career lattice maps three dozen solar occupations in four sectors: component production, system design, sales & marketing, and installation/operations. This visual roadmap includes occupational information, skills and competencies, education and training pathways.

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American Solar Energy Society (ASES) – Association of solar trade professionals and advocates.

Department of Energy Solar Instructor Training Network

Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) – National administrator of DOE SITN; Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE); RE Policy and Workforce Development; Database of RE training programs / degrees; and much more.

Institute for Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ) – Renewable Energy Program Accreditation and Instructor Certification.

North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) – Information about Entry Level PV Program, PV Installer Certification and PV Technical Sales Certification.

Solar Energy Industries Association – Trade association for solar energy businesses.

Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN)

Solar Instructor Training Network of Regional Training Providers - Northeast Region

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Ongoing Training Opportunities (Check individual sites for details)

Solar Pro Magazine - Professional Training Calendar

AltE University – Various Dates and Duration; Hudson MA and Columbus OH

DC Power Systems – Various Locations, Dates and Duration

Florida Solar Energy Center – Five Day Installation and Two Day Technical Sales Courses; Cocoa FL

Infinite Solar – Five Day Design/Install, Two Day Hands-on, and One Day Sales; Philadelphia PA

groSolar Training – Online and Various Locations, Dates and Duration

Midwest Renewable Energy Association – Various Locations, Dates and Duration

National Electric Code for PV (NFPA70-2011) – One day seminar; Various Locations and Dates

New York Solar Energy Industries Association – Various Locations, Dates and Duration

North Carolina Solar Center – Various Dates and Duration

Ontility – Online and Various Locations, Dates and Duration

Solar Energy International Workshops – Online and Various Locations, Dates and Duration

Solar Living Institute – Online and Various Locations (in CA), Dates and Duration

SunWize Solar Training Summits – Various Dates and Locations

UL University PV System Installation Training – Five day workshop; Durham NC

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