"> FAQs | NC Clean Energy Technology Center

General

How do I schedule a NCSU Solar House tour?

The Center no longer manages the NCSU Solar House. If you are interested in an educational tour and hands-on activities relating to the Solar House, you can schedule a tour by completing this online form https://goo.gl/forms/RnqD4fRFhsTI8iqX2 and someone from The Engineering Place at NC State will contact you.

Our school or organization has a STEM or Sustainability Day, can the Center participate or send speakers?

Due to a tightened state budget, Center staff are not available to speak at K-12 events. The NC State Engineering Place is focused on K-12 STEM education and may be able to provide speakers or suppport for your event. Please contact the Engineering Place at https://www.engr.ncsu.edu/theengineeringplace/

Can I be an intern at the Center?

We love interns! The Center does have an intern program. Currently, the intern program is designed for undergraduate and gradute students attending local universities. There are limited opportunities for high school students and recent college graduates. If you are interested in becoming an intern, please contact Allison Carr.

What is NABCEP and how do I become certified?

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners® (NABCEP®) is the most respected, well-established and widely recognized national certification organization for professionals in the field of renewable energy. NABCEP offers certifications and credentials for skilled professionals, specialists and those new to working in the areas of photovoltaics, solar heating, and small wind technologies.

NABCEP offers a NABCEP PV Associate Credential for those starting out in the industry. You are eligible to sit for this exam after completing the 40-hour REPV or REPVO training since we are a NABCEP Registered Associate Provider.

NABCEP also offers professional certifications such as the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Certification and PV Technical Sales Certification. Interested in a certification? Contact Megan Berry to figure out your best path to get there!

Do you offer any payment plans or discounts for training classes?

Yes! Most of our training workshops and all our packages have a 3 month or 5 month installment plan option. You are able to pick your preferred day of the month for payment withdrawal and there is no interest charged. If you have any payment concerns or a unique situation, please contact Megan Berry to discuss.

Are any pre-requisites required before taking a class?

Our classes are open to anyone and everyone, regardless of experience or background! You would begin with REPV or CREM which don’t have any pre-requisite requirements. Our more advanced and technical trainings such as REPVA, O&M, and Solar Storage require that you’ve taken an entry-level solar course (such as REPV), have a working knowledge of solar PV, or currently work in the industry.

I want to switch careers/begin working in the solar industry. Is your training program for me even if I don't have any solar or technical experience?

Yes! Whether you’re looking to start as an installer, learn policy and finance, or go into tech sales, we’ve go you covered! Our classes are also open to anyone and everyone, regardless of experience or background. You would begin with REPV or CREM which don’t have any pre-requisite requirements and provide all the basic information you would need. If you aren’t sure where to start, just reach out to Megan Berry.

How do I register for individual classes or a package? Do I need to apply for admission?

Registration is easy and admission to NC State or the program is not required. There is a Google Form available for each class and package. You can access the forms by visiting our “Services” section on the Training homepage.

Can I use X type of funding to pay for training classes or do you offer any scholarships?

There are certain funding restrictions since this is a continuing education program, however we’ve been able to accept funds from the Americorps Education Award and NC 529 College Savings Program. We are currently in the process of applying to accept the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other veterans education benefits. If you have questions about specific sources of funding please reach out to Megan Berry.

Unfortunately we do not offer any scholarships at this time. If you are looking for funding opportunities, check in with your local workforce development board to see if you qualify for assistance.

Does this training guarantee I will find a job?

We cannot guarantee that you will get a job after completing our training. However, we can give you the tools to make you a competive candidate and connect you with our industry partners that are hiring. We also typically see a lot of networking happening within classes and you would have access to ask our instructors questions about different solar companies and how to be a more competitive candidate.

Can you get me a job?

We cannot guarantee that you will get a job after completing our training. However, we can give you the tools to make you a competitive candidate and connect you with our industry partners that are hiring. We also typically see a lot of networking happening within classes and you would have access to ask our instructors questions about different solar companies and how to be a more competitive candidate.

What is your refund policy?

In the event you need to cancel, the following options are available:
– Substitute a colleague for the whole program with no charge or penalty
– Attend next scheduled class for no penalty or additional fee
– Cancel 14+ days before workshop – 95% refund
– Cancel 7-14 days before workshop – 50% refund
– Cancel 1-7 days before workshop – 25% refund
– Cancel first day of class or later – no refund

Can you create a custom training or bring the training to us?

We can do both! Check out our Customized Training page and contact Megan Berry with any questions.

What's the difference between CREM and the Diploma Series?

CREM, or the Certificate in Renewable Energy Management, is a 6-week, 40-hour course where you receive a certificate of completion from NC State after successfully completing the class. The Diploma Series requires 120-hours of training (40-hours could come from CREM) and you receive a non-degree diploma from NC State University after successfully completing the 120-hours of training,

Do you offer trainings out of state?

Yes! We can do custom training outside Raleigh, NC. We also offer REPV and REPVA online for anyone outside the state, region, or country.

Do you offer trainings out of state or online?

Yes! We can do custom training outside Raleigh, NC. We also offer REPV and REPVA online for anyone outside the state, region, or country.

Can I take just one class or do I have to take the entire Diploma Series?

You can definitely take just one class with us! However, please keep in mind that some of the more technical classes require that you’ve taken an entry-level solar course (such as REPV), have a working knowledge of solar PV, or currently work in the industry.

How long does it take to complete the Diploma Series?

It depends! Some people complete the Diploma Series in a few months and some people choose to spread the courses out over a year depending on their schedule and when classes are offered.

I would like to incorporate more energy efficient technology or tools. Where can I go for assistance?

Our team provides energy assessments for industrial, institutional and commercial facilities. Please contact Kimberly Conley at kjconley@ncsu.edu or 919-515-0903. If you are in need of a residential energy assessment, please start by contacting your electric utility.

I would like to talk with a project develper about a solar farm. Where do I start?

There are many resources available to help you explore solar farm development. Please visit our ‘Resources’ (link) section for a list of associations that list project developers for various renewable energy applications.

How do I install solar on my home?

A great place to begin to research residential solar PV opportunities is to visit www.dsireusa.org where you can obtain quotes from up to 3 project developers based on your zip code and property type.

I would like to investigate the viability of incorporating renewable energy at my site. Where do I start?

Our team provides energy efficiency and renewable energy assessments for industrial, institutional and commercial facilities. Please contact Kimberly Conley at kjconley@ncsu.edu or 919-515-0903. If you are in need of a residential energy assessment, please start by contacting your electric utility.

I have land I'd like to lease to solar developers. What are my options?

There are many resources available to help you explore leasing land for solar development. Please visit our ‘Resources’ (link) section for a list of associations that list project developers for various renewable energy applications.

I'm a renewable energy startup, what are some resources to help launch my venture?

Please visit our ‘Resources’ link for information on new business start-up support organizations.

Who performs the technical work that you do?

We have a number of engineers, including Professional Engineers on staff. Often, we will utilize students as part-time research associates to maintain a strong link to the university to provide students hands-on opportunities to support the ‘Think and Do’ philosophy.

What is combined heat and power and is my facility a good match for the application?

How can I utilize the resources of the U.S. Department of Energy Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership

What is propane autogas?

Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or propane autogas, is a cleaner-burning alternative fuel that’s been used for decades to power light-, medium- and heavy-duty propane vehicles.
Interest in propane as an alternative transportation fuel stems from its domestic availability, high-energy density, clean-burning qualities, and relatively low cost. It is the world’s third most common transportation fuel, behind gasoline and diesel, and is considered an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Learn more about propane on our website at https://nccleantech.ncsu.edu/?s=propane or at https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/propane.html.

What are natural gas vehicles?

Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are similar to gasoline or diesel vehicles with regard to power, acceleration, and speed. Two forms of natural gas are currently used in vehicles: compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Both are domestically produced, relatively low priced, and commercially available. Natural gas is an odorless, gaseous mixture of hydrocarbons—predominantly made up of methane (CH4). Light-duty vehicles running on conventional and shale natural gas can reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 15% (84% if running on RNG). Learn more about natural gas on our website at https://nccleantech.ncsu.edu/?s=natural+gas, or at https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/natural_gas.html.

What is biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a renewable, biodegradable fuel manufactured domestically from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease. It meets both the biomass-based diesel and overall advanced biofuel requirement of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Biodiesel is a domestically produced, clean-burning, renewable substitute for petroleum diesel. Using biodiesel as a vehicle fuel increases energy security, improves air quality and the environment, and provides safety benefits. Biodiesel can be blended with conventional diesel. The most common blend of biodiesel is B20, which is up to 20% biodiesel. Learn more on our website at https://nccleantech.ncsu.edu/?s=biodiesel or at https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/biodiesel.html.

Why drive an electric vehicle? Is an electric vehicle right for me?

EVs can be cheaper to run and maintain than a gas-powered car – no gas, oil changes, and fewer moving parts that need repair. Depending on your driving style and habits, an EV could save you over $1,300 a year in fuel savings alone.
EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions which results in less local pollution near roads and homes. Cleaner air means less disease, reducing your carbon footprint and helping to reduce harmful ozone pollution.
EVs are fueled with locally-generated electricity, not imported oil.
EVs have instant torque, feel smooth when driving, and don’t cause any vibration or noise.
There are dozens of EV models available to choose which one is right for you — ranging in price, brand, size, speed and more. EV prices vary when bought used. Brand new models can start around $30,000 though the prices varies considerably based on the make and model. Find more information on our website at https://nccleantech.ncsu.edu/?s=electric+vehicles, or at PlugInNC.com or FuelWhatMatters.org.

Can I make my daily commute with an electric vehicle? When and where do I charge?

Most existing battery electric vehicles (BEVs) cover the average daily commute which is typically less than 80 miles. If you have a longer commute or need to drive further during the day, most new electric vehicles can travel 100-300 miles before needing a charge. While charging at your destination (like your workplace, school, or shopping center) is an option, many EV owners find it most convenient to charge overnight in their garage at home. There are thousands of EV charging stations located throughout the US, all of which can be found on a map. You can find the location of chargers near you or along your travel route at: https://www.plugshare.com or https://afdc.energy.gov/stations.

How far can I drive an electric vehicle before I run out of fuel / battery charge?

There are several types of electric vehicles, including all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles(PHEVs) available today. Hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles combine gasoline engines and electric motors which allow vehicles to have a range equivalent to or greater than most vehicles on the road today. All-electric vehicle range can vary by vehicle, from 100 miles to 300+ miles on a fully charged battery.

I want to buy an electric car. Where can I buy one? And where can I get more information?

Most car manufactuers offer plug-in hybrid and/or electric vehicle models. And many car manufactuers are planning to offer new and different options within the next four years. EVs and hybrid vehicles are available to buy from local car dealerships. Details about vehicles currently available in NC are listed at: http://www.pluginnc.com/vehicles/available-electric-vehicles-in-nc/. More information about purchasing EVs is available at: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/alternatives.shtml. And a list of available EV models can be accessed at: https://www.energy.gov/eere/electricvehicles/find-electric-vehicle-models.

I'm a homeowner with solar panels. Can I sell electricity from my solar panels and make money?

In North Carolina you cannot make money by selling electricity from your solar panels. You can only use the electricity generated by solar panels to off-set your home’s electricity use.

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