Lanier Technical College began offering the solar training in January of 2010, offering a continuing education program that gives students entry-level knowledge about the solar industry and photovoltaic (PV) solar panel installation. Students of the Lanier Tech solar program take the 40-hour course which focuses on gaining an understanding of basic solar concepts in preparation for a sales and marketing, operations, or installation job in the booming solar industry. The Lanier Tech entry-level solar program includes training of the following subjects:
- PV Markets and Applications
- Safety Basics, Electricity Basics
- Solar Energy Fundamentals, PV Module Fundamentals
- System Components
- PV System Sizing, PV System Electrical Design, PV System Mechanical Design
- Performance Analysis and Troubleshooting
- Working Safely with Photovoltaic Systems
- Conducting a Site Assessment
- Selecting a System Design
- Adapting the Mechanical Design, Adapting the Electrical Design
- Installing Subsystems and Components at the Site
- Performing a System Checkout and Inspection
- Maintaining and Troubleshooting a System
In addition to offering solar training programs, Lanier Tech ‘s campuses (2 locations in Oakwood and Forsyth) feature a number of working PV solar and solar thermal systems. The PV system installations include two 2.88 kW ground mounted tracking systems, two 2.88 kW canopy systems, two roof mounted arrays totaling approximately 40 kW, and two more roof mounted off-grid arrays totaling 1.2 kW.
Upon completion of Lanier Tech’s entry level solar installer program, students are prepared to take the first North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) exam, a test that has been dubbed the “gold standard” for certification of entry-level PV installation.
Students who pass the NABCEP entry-level PV installation exam use their newly gained knowledge of basic terms and operational aspects of PV systems to begin looking for employment opportunities in the exciting, rapidly expanding solar industry.
A recent report from The Solar Foundation and the third annual National Solar Jobs Census report found that the U.S. solar industry currently employs 119,016 Americans. This figure represents the addition of 13,872 new solar workers and a 13.2 percent employment growth rate over the past 12 months. Since 2010, employment in the U.S. solar industry has grown 27 percent – eight times faster than the overall economy during the same period, in which, employment grew by 3.2 percent. 1 in 230 jobs created nationally over the last year were created in the solar industry.
Many graduates of the entry level program will continue the solar installation training process and work towards achieving NABCEP’s Solar PV Installer Certification, a more rigorous certification process that requires advanced training and hands-on installation experience.
Sam Ajanli, department chair of Lanier Technical College's Industrial Systems and Solar Technology Program said that interest in the program is increasing as more people become aware of the program.
"The installation of the solar systems at the various campuses will allow students to see these systems in operation and monitor the energy produced," he said. "The trainers that were provided will be used to help teach installation and learn the theory of operations for solar systems."
Solar Energy USA is proud to be the largest residential solar provider in Georgia.