Posts Tagged ‘training’

Buoyed By Business Deals, Solar Dominates New U.S. Cleantech Jobs

Posted on: September 3rd, 2014 by shannonhelm


A new report from the nonprofit business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) shows that more than 12,500 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in the second quarter of this year (Q2’14) – more than double the number of jobs announced in the first quarter.

Solar power generation led all sectors in Q2’14 with more than 5,300 jobs announced. The wind industry posted more than 2,700 jobs, many stemming from projects that qualified for the recently expired production tax credit.

On the next-generation transportation side, electric car manufacturers Tesla and General Motors announced new jobs.

According to E2, the jump in jobs took place despite mixed signals on clean energy policies from Congress, but amidst new confidence about future clean energy growth tied to the recently announced federal Clean Power Plan that’s designed to cut carbon pollution and increase clean energy and energy efficiency.

“Businesses depend on market certainty, and clean energy businesses are no different,” says Jonathan Foster, chief financial officer of Nexant, an energy software services company, and a director of E2’s northern California chapter. “What good policies do – whether it’s AB.32 in California or the new federal Clean Power Plan – is help create market certainty.”

AB.32 requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Passed in 2006, the legislation is considered one of the pillars of energy policy in the U.S. that has led to thepropagation of renewable portfolio standards in general and the rise of solar power as a significant source of power generation – and jobs – in particular.

Announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in June, the Clean Power Plan will cut carbon pollution from power plants by 30% by 2030. Along the way, the policy is expected to drive growth in energy efficiency and renewable energy, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and saving American businesses and consumers an estimated $37 billion in energy costs.

According to E2’s new report, five solar companies announced significant hiring in the residential sector, expanding their existing workforce in the prime solar markets of Arizona, California, New York and Massachusetts. Each of these states has strong net-metering policies, E2 notes.

Arizona recorded the greatest number of announced jobs in the report. Solar Wind Energy Inc. announced it expects to hire at least 350 permanent jobs for a new project in San Luis, Ariz. This will come as welcome news for the solar sector in the state, which, according to a report from The Solar Foundation, took a hit on jobs last year due to layoffs after the completion of the Solana concentrating solar power plant.

California ranks second in the E2 report, thanks to announcements from the utility-scale solar industry and from 500 new jobs announced by Tesla Motors. Michigan placed third, with GM expected to add as many as 1,400 jobs producing advanced battery technologies.

Down the pike, the E2 report points to a number of developments that are likely to keep the new solar jobs coming. Over 1,000 new jobs are expected as an outgrowth of SolarCity’s $200 million acquisition of solar manufacturer Silevo. As part of the acquisition, SolarCity will build a 1 GW annual production capacity manufacturing facility in Buffalo, N.Y. About 800 new construction jobs are tied to Tenaska’s recently closed deal to build the Imperial Solar Energy Center West Project in Imperial County, Calif.

The top 10 for announced clean energy and clean transportation jobs in Q2’14 are as follows:
1. Arizona
2. California
3. Michigan
4. Utah
5. Massachusetts
6. New York
7. Nevada
8. New Mexico
9. North Dakota
10. North Carolina
For the full E2 jobs report, click here.


Solar Industry Magazine

N.C. Solar Center wins City of Raleigh’s 2014 Environmental Regional Award

Posted on: April 30th, 2014 by shannonhelm No Comments

The City of Raleigh recognized individuals and organizations committed to preserving and improving the environment at its seventh annual Environmental Awards celebration Tuesday evening, April 22 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. More than 200 people attended.

The N.C. Solar Center’s Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series won the City of Raleigh’s 2014 Regional environmental Award.  “We are very excited and honored to win this prestigious award from the City of Raleigh,” said Maria O’Farrell, training program manager at the Center. “The Diploma Series is turning 10 this year, and this is a great way to celebrate what the program has accomplished.”


The Diploma Series Turns 10


The Diploma Series, as it is now called, is an award-winning program recognized by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s Institute of Sustainable Power Quality (IREC ISPQ) as offering  Accredited Training Programs for photovoltaic and solar thermal.


“The Solar Center had always offered solar workshops since its inception,” said Steve Kalland, Executive Director, who also birthed the idea of a series of intensive workshops.  “But, there needed to be a program that catered not just to the enthusiastic homeowner, but more importantly to the professional who wanted renewables to be part of their portfolio of services.”


The program has changed a lot since that rainy fall week in 2004. For one, it has doubled its course offerings from four to eight. It now includes the Certificate in Renewable Energy Management, a project development course, and through a partnership with EverBlue, has started offering BPI and RESNET certificate courses.


Throughout the years, the Center has also introduced customized training to bring renewable energy education around the region. It has collaborated with the Northeast Workforce Development Board to bring at least four week-long courses to Edenton, North Carolina. It has developed custom training to utility personnel from Duke Energy to Fayetteville PWC, and has delivered workshops to military facilities in Norfolk, Virginia and Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. In addition, the Center has hosted several company training, such as SunPower, SolarWorld, and Advanced Green Technologies.


Join us this year as we celebrate the 10th year anniversary of the Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series. We will be highlighting many of our esteemed alumni and letting you in on the many ways you can get continuing education and certifications.


For more information, contact Maria O’Farrell at or call 919-523-8888.

N.C. Solar Center and SEM Co-Founder Bob Kingery Team-Up To Offer Renewable Energy Management Program

Posted on: June 25th, 2013 by shannon No Comments

The N.C. Solar Center and Southern Energy Management Co-Founder Bob Kingery partner to offer Certificate in Renewable Energy Management

Raleigh, NC – For the second year in a row, the N.C. Solar Center and Southern Energy Management co-founder Bob Kingery are teaming up to offer a program focused around renewable energy project development and management. The Certificate in Renewable Energy Management (CREM) program is geared toward working and transitioning professionals interested in learning more about the technology, financing, and policy surrounding renewable energy development. Topics are presented across a 40 hour course that runs from September 12 through November 19 and is accessible both online and in the classroom. The program culminates in a final group project, where groups present projects varying from renewable energy exploration and feasibility studies to experimental product development and investment pitches.

The program’s continued success has hinged in large part on participation from local industry experts like Southern Energy Management’s (SEM) co-founder Bob Kingery. Founded in 2001, Mr. Kingery helped navigate Southern Energy Management to become one of the area’s premier solar energy firms. The level of experience that Mr. Kingery and other industry leaders bring to the CREM program helps provide invaluable market insights for program participants.

“A unique aspect of the CREM program was that it provided us with information on the present and future challenges facing the development and maturation of the renewable energy market from experienced professionals at a variety of different positions in the industry” said Will Etheridge, a graduate of the program and current member of the Customer Advocacy team at Southern Energy Management. “This information has helped prepare me, and others like me, for the real-world challenges involved in developing and managing renewable energy projects and technologies.”

Another program graduate, David Arney, wrote that, “[the CREM Program] was a perfectly balanced mix of renewable education, business class, and group-style working projects that I believe every student gained immensely from. I felt like this class truly was the ‘nugget’ of information I’d been looking for, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

For those interested in learning more about the N.C. Solar Center’s Certificate in Renewable Energy Management Program, please visit

Program Contact: Lyra Rakusin, N.C. Solar Center: (919) 513-7769
Media Contact: Sam Burner, SEM: or (866) 575-9151

About Southern Energy Management
Southern Energy Management is a North Carolina-based sustainable energy company offering energy efficiency testing, green building verification and turn-key solar services for homeowners, builders, and business owners across the Southeast. A certified B Corp, SEM’s two-part mission is to improve the way people make and use energy and to build a prosperous company that supports people and the planet. SEM is among a small handful of companies in the U.S. to earn the national ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award for being named Partner of the Year six consecutive times, in addition to being named a CED N..C Company to Watch in 2011 and receiving the 2011 City of Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award. For more information, visit

About the N.C. Solar Center
The North Carolina Solar Center, at N.C. State University, is a public service center with the mission of advancing a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. The N.C. Solar Center serves as a resource for innovative, clean energy technologies through demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. It also administers the Database of Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), a resource providing financial incentives and policies. For more information, visit

NC Solar Center to offer accredited geothermal training course starting April 29th

Posted on: March 28th, 2013 by shannon No Comments


If you haven’t heard, the Solar Center is now drilling for energy! In response to the need for more geothermal installer training, the NC Solar Center is offering a 40- hour International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) Accredited Installer course.  This week-long Geothermal course will be held on April 29 – May 3, 2013 in Raleigh, and is part of the Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series.

This week-long workshop is designed for developers, architects, manufacturers, distributors, dealers, installers, HVAC contractors, trenching/drilling contractors, and anyone who desires a working knowledge of this innovative and rapidly growing technology. Representatives from public utilities, private utilities, and rural electric cooperatives can also benefit from training.  NC well contractors receive up to 40 CEU from the NC Well Contractors Certification Commission. Click here to register now!


Certificate in Renewable Energy Management Groups Produce First-Rate Projects

Posted on: October 9th, 2012 by shannon No Comments

The N.C. Solar Center completed another successful round of the Certificate in Renewable Energy Management (CREM) program. CREM is the only program in the country that is especially designed for the non-installer that covers trends in renewable energy technology, federal and local policy, and financing strategies. Professionals who have attended the program come from diverse backgrounds – from engineering to marketing, and banking to project development.  The class, which typically runs for three months, requires participants attend 36-plus hours of online and onsite classes, complete the short quizzes and submit and present a group project. Each group project is comprised of professionals from different disciplines to work together and come up with a project that uses the skills and knowledge gained during the course of the program.

“For me, a particular highlight was viewing the class projects undertaken and presented by the students taking the program,” said Forrest Milder, a Boston-based lawyer who taught the course Practical Aspects of Renewable Energy Project Development, and was also a former chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge.   “The students obviously put a first-class effort into their work and treated the assignment like a true business opportunity.  They interviewed potential off-takers, developers, accountants and lawyers, and some of the groups produced a classy work product that looked like it was done by a seasoned professional.   You could tell that these groups put a lot of work into it their presentation and it didn’t look like a mere class project.”

Projects have included feasibility studies, a study on community solar’s perils and promise, and proposals for clean energy systems in manufacturing. The fall 2012 class projects involved creative ways to have solar installation on schools and university buildings, and a non-profit business plan to distribute pre-fabricated powerports with emergency and developing world use.

“The most tangible value that the class gets out of this particular course is the group project,” said Lyra Rakusin, Workforce Development Specialist at the N.C. Solar Center and course designer of CREM. “The effort that each group puts in analyzing the pros of a location, gathering the data, deciding which technology to use, and making the project work financially helps these professionals understand what it takes to make it in this growing industry. In the end, these are the skills needed to create the jobs of this century.”

While the CREM program caters to the non-technical side of renewables, the N.C. Solar Center continues to offer workshops for installers and system designers of solar electric, solar thermal, wind systems and home energy raters. The Center also has workshops for STEM teachers and community college instructors who wish to incorporate renewable energy into the classroom. That effort is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Program and the Solar Instructor Training Network.

For more information about the Certificate in Renewable Energy Management, contact Lyra Rakusin at or 919-624-3061.

N.C. Solar Center Offers New Training Programs for building analysts, green associates, educators

Posted on: May 22nd, 2012 by shannon No Comments

BPI, LEED GA, SIS, Oh my! The training programs team has been busy creating an alphabet soup of workshops for anyone with an interest in green energy. After all, the renewable energy and energy efficiency industry isn’t just about installers and energy raters. The industry can only thrive when there are financial analysts, accountants, sales people, educators and a host of other job descriptions that exist in other sectors of the economy.

In May, 15 professionals completed the Certificate in Renewable Energy Management (CREM). This program aims to help businesses in individuals navigate the complexities of renewable energy project development and management. The 40 credit hour workshop was kicked off by Southern Energy Management’s Bob Kingery last March 15th and ended with a talk by renowned Boston lawyer Forrest Milder who brought it home with class on the Practical Aspects of Renewable Energy Project Development. Four groups presented their projects, ranging from a community solar project to an industrial combined heat and power application with geothermal and solar back-up.

July brings a string of brand new workshops. Presented jointly with CleanEdison, the Solar Center is now offering the Building Performance Institute – Building Analyst (BPI-Building Analyst) five-day workshop and the two-day Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Green Associates (LEED-GA) workshop. The BPI – Building Analyst is the newest workshop to become integrated into the Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) Diploma Series. As such, taking this workshop together with two other 40-hour courses would count towards your RET Diploma. Other workshops belonging to the RET Diploma Series include PV fundamentals, PV-Advanced, Solar Thermal, Wind, and CREM.

On top of the new energy efficiency and green building workshops, the Center is also focused on bringing instructor training to a different level. In 2010, the Solar Center was named one of eight Regional Training Providers in the country to be a part of the U.S. Department of Energy funded Solar Instructor Training Network. Originally focused on training instructors to teach future installers, the Center has expanded instructor training to not only involve technical instructors in community colleges, but also to include STEM teachers and other tertiary level educators in other disciplines who might want to integrate solar topics in the classroom. Thus, the Solar Instructor Series was created.

The Solar Instructor Series is a program for educators who are committed to introducing photovoltaic  (PV) concepts into the classroom. Whether it is in a basics of electricity class, a sustainable business course, or an alternative energy degree, educators in this program will gain information and access to resources to help them teach solar to their students.  There are 11 workshops in this series. All of these workshops are available to the public and can be accessed without being in the program. But only those accepted in and are committed to the goals of the program can avail of the deep discounts to these workshop. To get the list of courses offered under the Solar Instructor Series, and to apply, go to

Certificate in Renewable Energy Management class starting in July – sign up now!

Posted on: May 16th, 2012 by shannon No Comments

This program is for the non-installer, who would like to learn more about policy, technologies, and finance in the renewable energy industry.  It’s a unique program, and the only one like it offered in the country! Participants attend class both in person and online, and have a group project to wrap up the end of the course.

Seats fill up quickly, so be sure to sign up soon.  The first 10 registratns receive $200 off the cost of the class, so remember to ask if you are one of the first ten to register!

Learn more and register

N.C. Solar Center Offers New Certificate in Renewable Energy Management

Posted on: February 29th, 2012 by shannon No Comments
First non-degree program of its kind in North America

 Classes Start March 15th – Seats are still available!

Renewable energy and energy efficiency activity in North Carolina have been booming since the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard passed in the summer of 2007. In 2011, North Carolina’s clean energy sector employment grew by 18 percent from 12,500 employees in 2010. Meanwhile, participation for N.C. Solar Center’s photovoltaic training alone increase by 248 percent in 2010 as compared to the number of PV class participants in 2006.

The boom in the renewable energy industry has matured to involve more non-technical personnel who don’t necessarily have a renewable energy background. With tax credits and other incentives available, project development has become more competitive – and complicated. To help advance the market, the N.C. Solar Center is launching the Certificate in Renewable Energy Management (CREM) in March 2012 and is offering its Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series online.

“The N.C. Solar Center has always been at the heart of educating professionals and the North Carolina public on renewable energy technologies,” says Lyra Rakusin with the Solar Center’s Training Programs. “It was a natural progression to now offer classes for people involved in project management and sales. It also made sense to add online versions of our installer-focused courses to allow for more flexibility.”

The Certificate in Renewable Energy Management is a 40-hour hybrid program offered with both online and on-site components to maximize class communication and networking opportunities. Supported in part by Southern Energy Management and the Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network, this non-credit certificate program will be offered from March to May, and is the only non-degree program of its kind in North America that includes topics to help develop commercial-scale projects. A group project to be presented at the last day of class is required to complete the course.

The program is also taught in alignment with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Task Analysis for PV Technical Sales so that taking this in combination with our installer classes and other NABCEP requirements gives participants eligibility  to sit for the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Examination.

Bob Kingery, co-Founder and President of Southern Energy Management teaches the first two days of the program that focuses on technology. “As a business owner myself, I can attest to the importance of continued training for technical and non-technical personnel in this ever changing and growing industry,”” says Kingery. “When I learned that it was a program that covered topics on policy and finance, I was quick to offer my support.”

The focus of the CREM program is tri-fold: Technology, Finance and Policy. These areas are the main drivers that move the renewable energy industry forward. Topics include:


  • Overview of solar electric, solar thermal, wind, and other renewable energy technologies
  • Renewable energy policy landscape (learning to navigate the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (
  • Introduction to definitions, identifying revenue streams and financing options, and risk management and contract structuring


Elective topics on marketing, sales and understanding the utility will be offered.  Over 44 hours of topics are available, but one need only take 40 hours to earn the certificate. The more technical weeklong workshops under the Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series that are geared for installers are also available and can help give a more in-depth understanding of specific technologies.

The first online photovoltaic workshop is scheduled for April to May and will run for six weeks, including five hours a week of live, online classes, which is also recorded so it can be downloaded at a later time. Those who wish to get hands-on training can take the one-day, hands-on Solar workshop that will be offered throughout the year.

For those who are interested in shorter courses, one to two day workshops are available. Visit where you can view of a list of training and events.


Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919-423-8340,

Maria  O’Farrell, N.C. Solar Center, 919-538-8287,



Certificate in Renewable Energy Management

Posted on: November 15th, 2011 by shannon No Comments

A Program on Technology, Policy and Finance for Renewable Energy Project Development

Business professionals and students are keenly aware of the changing energy landscape. Many professionals want to know more about the renewable energy industry but find that available workshops on renewables are too technical or geared for the installer. The goal of the CREM program is not only to provide a sound foundation of how existing renewable energy technologies work, but also to have a firm grasp of policies and financial options so they can make informed decisions as a manager and businessperson in the renewable energy industry.


The 40-hour CREM program is part of the Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series. If you wish to complete the Diploma Series, save 20% by registering for our Packaged Programs.

Click on the links below for more details:

Dates and Registration
Learning Objectives
Topics and Activities
Instructor Credentials
Credits and Certification Pathways
Expectation and Outcomes
Short Course: Solar Business Basics

Learning Objectives

CREM graduates will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamentals of how solar electric and solar thermal technologies work.
  • Describe renewable energy policy terminology.
  • Understand how federal, state and local policies, incentives and regulations can affect the health of the renewable energy industry.
  • Navigate the current financial landscape and assess different financial models
  • Get NABCEP Technical Sales education credits for the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Certification Exam (must meet other NABCEP requirements)

Don’t need the Certificate? You can take these short-courses housed under the CREM program.

Click to download the Full Course Syllabus.



Topics and Activities Include:


  • Basics of how solar technologies work
  • Technology applications and business considerations
  • Common technical issues
  • Future of the grid
  • Tour of systems


  • Overview of the renewable energy policy landscape
  • Definitions and how policy design impacts financial investments
  • Maximize the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) website


  • Overview of financing options for residential and commercial Systems
  • RECs, sRECs and Carbon Credits
  • Identifying revenue streams
  • Risk management and contract structuring

Additional topics for marketing, sales, and understanding the permitting process will likewise be offered.


Course Instructor Credentials:

Instructors in this course include:



Training Provider Credentials:

IREC ISPQ Training Program Accreditation

Course Hours Count Toward:

NABCEP PV Technical Sales Certification-40
NABCEP Continuing Education PV Installer Re-Certification – 40
Professional Development Hours(PDH)- 40
Continuing Legal Education (CLE)- 15
CPA Continuing Professional Education (CPE)- 11.5




February 1 – March 9, 2018. Onsite dates: February 1, 2, and 16; March 9.

August 1 – September 7, 2018. Onsite dates: August 1, 2, and 17; September 7

Click here to register for either session!

Please email Megan Cain at for more information.

Registration Fee:

$1,998 . You can pay in installments. Click on the aforementioned dates to register.

If you plan to complete your Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma, register for a package and save!



The program is onsite and online. Participants are required to be present in Raleigh, North Carolina for a total of four days. The rest of the course topics will be an online 2-hour or less webinar that may be retrieved at a later time. This provides more flexibility to those who cannot attend the live online session.



Expectations and Outcomes:

Participants will be required to attend 90% of the class, present a group project and a 5-10 page document of their project to complete the program. Successful students receive a non-degree certificate from NC State University.


Don’t need the Certificate? Register for these CREM classes individually:

One-day Solar Business Basics

Fee: $449

Dates: February 16, 2018 and August 17, 2018 (Click to register)

This day-long class covers and overview of federal and North Carolina policies, policies that drive global and domestic markets, solar financial modeling, and ownership structures using tax credits. $449

Credits: 8 PDHs, 8 CPA, 6.5 CLE

For more information contact Megan Cain at

Green Job Training in the Southeast

Posted on: August 30th, 2011 by shannon No Comments

Story by:

Recently, it seems that every politician has the exact same top three priorities: Jobs, Jobs and Jobs. Some of those jobs can come in the form of green jobs. Green jobs vary from manufacturing and construction to sales and consulting. Apollo Alliance, a coalition of business, labor and environmental groups championing green employment defines a green job as: “paying decent wages and benefits that can support a family. It has to be part of a real career path, with upward mobility. And it needs to reduce waste and pollution and benefit the environment.”

Source: Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Employment Security Division, Labor Market Information Section, Green Jobs Study, Spring 2011Distribution of Green Jobs in Tennessee. Source: Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Employment Security Division, Labor Market Information Section, Green Jobs Study, Spring 2011 

Sold on green jobs but not sure where to start? Several colleges and organizations offer quick training in the field of your choice and some manufacturing companies partner with neighboring colleges to train future employees. Listed below are just a few upcoming green job training opportunities here in the Southeast:

One-day, weekend, or week-long workshops:

North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification is highly recommended for individuals pursuing employment in solar PV, solar thermal, and small wind installation fields. Several Southeastern groups provide the training necessary for the NABCEP tests, as well as other certifications. If you are interested in certification, here are some non-degree training programs to check out:

  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.)- ASU’s 2011 workshop series is in full swing. Most workshops are held on Saturdays. Upcoming sessions include Community Scale Wind, Solar Hot Water, Small Wind, Microhydro, and PV Design, and the National Electric Code.
  • North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (Raleigh, N.C.)- NCSC is hosting week-long classes this fallin solar PV, solar thermal, small wind, and green building.
  • Southface (Atlanta, Ga.) – Southface is a great resource for one-day training in a variety of energy efficiency fields, such as building weatherization and energy auditing.
  • Tennessee Solar Institute (throughout Tenn.) – TSI partnered with colleges across the state in the past year to provide free, week-long training courses in solar PV installation.

There are several local colleges who have semester courses in a variety of green fields. For example, Pellissippi State in Knoxville, Tennessee has a solar PV installation program.

Solar Manufacturing

Recently, Tennessee has attracted several large solar manufacturing facilities. These companies are partnering with local colleges to provide training for future employees.

These are just a few of the green job training opportunities available in our region, and more will develop as the market for renewable energy grows here and elsewhere. The Southeast is expected to be a manufacturing hub for the rest of the nation, according to the Department of Energy’s report 20% Wind Energy by 2030. Solar energy job growth in the Southeast has grown at least 34% just in the past year according to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census. In addition, there’s huge opportunity in the Southeast for energy efficiency improvements. As our nation’s clean energy portfolio grows, the Southeast is primed and ready to be a leader in green manufacturing and services.