This program provides a scholarship for Utahns to work in solar energy

A photovoltaic photo voltaic panel set up north of Milford, Beaver County, is pictured on Jan. 15. AES, a world vitality firm, has collaborated with Photo voltaic Power Worldwide, a number one photo voltaic coaching instructional nonprofit, to supply photo voltaic workforce improvement providers in Utah. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 5-6 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — The Beehive State is dwelling to the second-highest photo voltaic economic system within the nation and because of a brand new scholarship program, Utahns seeking to enter the renewable vitality workforce via photo voltaic vitality will now have a funding pathway to take action.

AES, a world vitality firm working to speed up the way forward for vitality and a number one developer of utility-scale photo voltaic era, has collaborated with Photo voltaic Power Worldwide, a number one photo voltaic coaching instructional nonprofit, saying earlier this month their new partnership to supply photo voltaic workforce improvement providers in Utah.

The collaboration between the 2 firms features a scholarship fund for people, in addition to consulting providers for schools and universities. Each features purpose to stimulate native participation within the Utah clear vitality {industry} via skilled improvement and eventual entry into the photo voltaic vitality workforce.

The scholarship

AES is offering funding for the scholarship, which is able to award monetary help within the type of tuition charges for 20 Utahns to enroll in Photo voltaic Power Worldwide’s North America Board of Licensed Power Practitioners PV Associates on-line coaching bundle, which incorporates PVOL101 and PVOL203 on-line lessons together with NABCEP PV Affiliate testing.

“This preliminary part is a scholarship fund for 20 college students to undergo our NABCEP PV associates coaching bundle,” stated Will White, director of enterprise improvement at Photo voltaic Power Worldwide.

The North America Board of Licensed Power Practitioners is a nonprofit within the renewable vitality area that certifies photo voltaic vitality installers and others working within the photo voltaic {industry}.

The primary class, PVOL101, might be regarded as “photo voltaic vitality 101” and gives an introduction to photo voltaic vitality and walks via “all the things somebody must know to type of get began within the {industry},” White stated.

PVOL203 focuses extra particularly on batteries and programs that require battery know-how.

Mixed, these two lessons comprise a lot of the info that somebody would wish to go the associates check.

“The associates (check) is a credential that folks can use to indicate that they’ve some expertise of information of photo voltaic and it helps them get jobs within the {industry},” White stated. “This scholarship fund is de facto designed to assist Utah residents get info they should get into the photo voltaic {industry}, to take the check to get the credential after which we’re hopefully engaged on transitioning them into jobs — that is the final word purpose.”

After AES scholarships are awarded, recipients could have entry to Photo voltaic Power Worldwide’s on-line campus, the place they will entry their coaching from anyplace on this planet to study photo voltaic vitality know-how ideas, have interaction with on-line instructors and classmates and put together themselves for his or her position within the photo voltaic {industry}.

Consulting providers

Whereas the scholarships present a extra direct, short-term inflow into the photo voltaic {industry}, the partnership between AES and Photo voltaic Power Worldwide can also be offering consulting providers to assist Utah schools and universities develop or enhance their photo voltaic workforce coaching applications, bolstering their skill to supply college students with industry-leading, secure and related photo voltaic training.

“That is type of an extra good thing about our partnership that’s type of above and past the scholarships. The consulting half is extra of a long-term (plan), serving to organizations domestically to develop coaching applications within the state,” White stated.

Utah universities and schools which might be chosen to obtain consulting providers will work alongside Photo voltaic Power Worldwide instructors and curriculum builders to create or advance photo voltaic coaching applications that align with their instructional mission and the workforce improvement wants of the {industry}.

“We sit up for supporting AES’s native and nationwide targets by providing world-class photo voltaic instructional coaching to the following era photo voltaic workforce. These company partnerships actually assist the {industry} positively impression regional communities and cut back barriers-to-entry within the clear vitality workforce the place folks reside and work,” stated Elizabeth Sanderson, government director of Photo voltaic Power Worldwide.

These which might be representing, or engaged on behalf of, a Utah-based college or school who want to apply for consulting can electronic mail will@solarenergy.org to study extra.

Aligning alternative with inflow

Utah has a robust historical past of manufacturing vitality via fossil fuels. Coal, pure fuel and crude oil are the highest three types of vitality produced by the state, in line with information from the Power Data Administration.

Nonetheless, photo voltaic has the potential to thrive in Utah.

Utah’s photo voltaic capability quickly elevated halfway via the final decade, with rooftop photo voltaic going from one megawatt in 2009 to 130 in 2016. A state renewable portfolio purpose requires that investor-owned and municipal utilities, in addition to electrical co-ops, use renewables to account for 20% of their adjusted electrical energy gross sales by 2025 — however solely whether it is cost-effective for the corporate to take action, in line with a report from Stacker.com.

Ben Abbott, assistant professor of ecosystem ecology at BYU, stated that Utah has among the greatest photo voltaic assets within the nation.

An essential issue when taking a look at employment in photo voltaic vitality, White stated, is that not all alternatives within the area require an academic background.

“It is loads of alternative for good, excessive paying jobs for individuals who have not gone to school or have not gone to commerce colleges,” White stated.

“They’ll undergo our lessons. … In order that’s sufficient info to get them began within the {industry} and the employers are prepared to provide on-the-job coaching to complement that as nicely. There may be loads of alternative there (in Utah) for job alternatives and job development,” he added.

“Utah is my dwelling, and this partnership with SEI is essential to me as a result of it’s going to create alternative for folks within the state and the communities we reside in,” stated Leo Moreno, president of AES. “Attaining our clear vitality targets requires that we put money into constructing a bigger, well-trained clear vitality workforce to fulfill growing demand for renewable vitality. The AES-funded scholarship and this workforce improvement program assist meet this want whereas additionally offering a mannequin for different states searching for to develop their clear vitality workforces to assist the accelerating transition to wash vitality.”

Utah residents who want to study extra or apply for the scholarship can accomplish that right here.

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