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 worldwide power firm, has collaborated with Photo voltaic Power Worldwide, a number one photo voltaic coaching instructional nonprofit, to offer photo voltaic workforce growth providers in Utah. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 5-6 minutes

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

AES, a worldwide power firm working to speed up the way forward for power and a number one developer of utility-scale photo voltaic technology, has collaborated with Photo voltaic Power Worldwide, a number one photo voltaic coaching instructional nonprofit, asserting earlier this month their new partnership to offer photo voltaic workforce growth providers in Utah.

The collaboration between the 2 corporations features a scholarship fund for people, in addition to consulting providers for schools and universities. Each elements purpose to stimulate native participation within the Utah clear power {industry} via skilled growth and eventual entry into the photo voltaic power 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 courses together with NABCEP PV Affiliate testing.

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

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

The primary class, PVOL101, will be regarded as “photo voltaic power 101” and gives an introduction to photo voltaic power and walks via “every little thing somebody must know to sort of get began within the {industry},” White stated.

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

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

“The associates (check) is a credential that individuals can use to indicate that they’ve some expertise of data of photo voltaic and it helps them get jobs within the {industry},” White stated. “This scholarship fund is actually 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 last word aim.”

After AES scholarships are awarded, recipients may have entry to Photo voltaic Power Worldwide’s on-line campus, the place they will entry their coaching from anyplace on the earth to be taught photo voltaic power know-how ideas, interact 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 improve their photo voltaic workforce coaching applications, bolstering their capacity to offer college students with industry-leading, protected and related photo voltaic schooling.

“That is sort of a further advantage of our partnership that’s sort 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 are 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 growth wants of the {industry}.

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

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

Aligning alternative with inflow

Utah has a powerful historical past of manufacturing power via fossil fuels. Coal, pure fuel and crude oil are the highest three types of power produced by the state, in accordance 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 aim 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 accordance with a report from Stacker.com.

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

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

“It is plenty 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 will undergo our courses. … In order that’s sufficient info to get them began within the {industry} and the employers are prepared to present on-the-job coaching to complement that as properly. There may be plenty of alternative there (in Utah) for job alternatives and job development,” he added.

“Utah is my house, and this partnership with SEI is essential to me as a result of it should create alternative for individuals within the state and the communities we reside in,” stated Leo Moreno, president of AES. “Reaching our clear power objectives requires that we put money into constructing a bigger, well-trained clear power workforce to fulfill growing demand for renewable power. The AES-funded scholarship and this workforce growth program assist meet this want whereas additionally offering a mannequin for different states looking for to develop their clear power workforces to help the accelerating transition to scrub power.”

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

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