ONTILITY and Phillips Community College will offer an Entry Level Solar Design and Installation course on June 14-18, at Phillips Community College’s Stuttgart, Arkansas campus. The 40-hour entry-level solar design and installation course provides students with basic knowledge of solar photovoltaic cells, modules, and system components; electrical circuits; PV system design, estimation, and code requirements; solar electric products and applications; an understanding of energy conversion from sunlight to electricity, and how to work with solar conversion equipment. The course is designed for all learners.

The course follows the Institute for Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ) standards and the NABCEP photovoltaic learning objectives and task analysis. The course focuses on real-world, site-specific knowledge. Hands-on training covers site surveys; mechanical and electrical design, safety and construction issues; tool and test equipment use; best-practice construction skills; national code and local inspection issues.

The 40-hour course consists of five days of training, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. each day, and qualifies those who complete the course to sit for the NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam, given on Friday evening at the conclusion of the class. Tuition for the training is $1,395.

The upcoming solar incentive program makes conditions in Arkansas favorable for rapid renewable energy growth. Concern is already being expressed that there may not be enough trained installers to meet the demand. It is crucial to the success of the renewable energy industry that installers be well trained and that there are enough of them to meet market demand.

Demand for well trained, highly skilled workers will naturally accompany market growth. Solar industry jobs will range from high school graduates to those with master’s degrees and will carry average annual salaries from $23,000 to $87,000.