Fluke, an industrial tools and integrated software provider, announced it has achieved approval from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
As a NABCEP Registered Training Provider, the company will offer educational resources to help solar professionals work safely, efficiently, and accurately in support of the growing industry.
“Over the past decade, U.S. solar employment has more than doubled from 105k jobs in 2011 to 255k jobs in 2021,” said Will White, NABCEP solar application specialist and educator, Fluke. “However, the need to train and equip this new workforce with the right knowledge and tools could quickly become a bottleneck constraining the industry’s growth.”
Solar now represents 59% of the clean power capacity in development, gaining 4% in share from 2021 to 2022, said the American Clean Power Association. In order to reach the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) target of solar making up 30% of all U.S. electricity generation by 2030, SEIA estimates that the solar and storage industries will need an estimated 800,000 new workers for a total workforce of more than 1 million workers.
Fluke recently launched its new NABCEP-registered training course, Tools and Techniques for Commissioning and Maintaining PV Systems to support solar workforce development nationwide.
Fluke will also be offering its new training course online. The next scheduled course will take place on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. The course will review the different steps in the process of building and maintaining a solar array and the appropriate test tools used at each step, including digital multimeters, clamp meters, thermal imaging cameras, insulation resistance testers, I-V curve tracers, irradiance meters, power quality meters, and solar asset management software.
A well-trained workforce will be essential to ensure the energy transition will be built effectively and efficiently. What’s more, for projects to receive the full 30% base Investment Tax Credit, rather than just 6%, Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes a requirement that 12.5% of a project’s labor hours must be from qualified apprentices participating in an apprenticeship program. Qualified programs must be registered with the Department of Labor (DOL) or a state equivalent.
SEIA has also announced the launch of a workforce development program, called the SEIA Online Learning Center. Among other resources, the center will include a Solar 101 online training program.
Solar 101 is designed for newcomers to solar as well as those with extensive experience looking to expand their skills. The program includes 30 short modules in 5- to 10-minute video format that contain valuable expert insight into a variety of areas including topics such as solar technology, market segmentation, transmission, project development, permitting, and more.
“We have a responsibility as an industry leader to provide resources that welcome a diverse group of people into the solar and storage family,” said SEIA vice president of equity and workforce development Erika Symmonds. “This new platform builds a bridge into one of America’s fastest-growing industries, and SEIA is committed to making sure that training and other wealth-building opportunities are accessible to communities of all backgrounds.”
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