NCCETC Student Becomes NCCETC Solar Trainer

Student of Train the Trainer Solar Course in 2010
teaches PV fundamentals and installation in March 2019

Gene Wilson teaching Coastal Carolina University CCU Solar Ambassador students last March.

One of NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC)’s students from a Train the Trainer course offered in 2010 recently finished teaching a NCCETC training course himself.

Gene Wilson, who has been an instructor at Greenville Technical College since 1986, taught Coastal Carolina University CCU Solar Ambassador students solar design and installation fundamentals over their spring break last month in South Carolina. Students spent the first days in the classroom and finished with a hands-on day learning how to install a functional grid-tied system on NCCETC’s mobile photovoltaic (PV) training unit.

“[They were] a great bunch of students,” Wilson said.

Wilson retired last year, but is still teaching Solar PV classes at Greenville Tech as an external consultant for the Continuing Education side of the college.

“I plan to teach more solar as long as I can,” Wilson said.

The Greenville Tech Solar program started in mid-2000s with a grant from the South Carolina Technical College System.  

“Instructor Gene Wilson was a key advocate in developing our curriculum and getting the program off the ground,”said Joy Finch, Environmental Health and Safety Department Head/Professor at Greenville Technical College. “Through Gene’s efforts, Greenville Technical College became a registered provider of the North American Board of Certified Energy Professionals (NABCEP) Solar PV Entry Level Exam in 2011.”

Since that time, Gene has taught more than 30 courses and trained more than 100 participants, Finch said.

“I have basically kept the solar torch alive at Greenville Tech,” Wilson said.

Gene Wilson with Coastal Carolina University CCU Solar Ambassador students.


In addition to being an instructor at Greenville Technical College, Wilson was also the Department Head for the Architectural and Construction Engineering Technology Programs before retiring.

Wilson’s interest in solar began when he was in college at Clemson University. Wilson attended the first U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional (AP) training class that showed up in Greenville, SC, around 1989, he said. Later, he caught wind about a solar training center grant available via the South Carolina Department of Education (SC DOE), where he applied and was sent to NCCETC’s Train the Trainer class on solar. Wilson also was selected for the upstate Geothermal Training Center and was sent to Oklahoma for the Train the Trainer for International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA).

The current focus at Greenville Tech is on two courses that are offered as continuing education classes:  Solar Energy Technology Basics and Solar Photovoltaic Systems. Successful completion of these two courses enables participants to take the NABCEP PV Associate exam, Finch said.

To learn more about the many training options at NCCETC, visit For questions or more information, contact Megan Berry at To look into solar courses offered by Greenville Technical College, click here.