RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Keith Williams, CEO and president, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Raleigh-Durham government officials and green energy industry leaders gathered at UL University’s new facility here to unveil a hands-on training and certification program for photovoltaic installers. Attendees took a guided tour of the new facility, getting a sneak peak at the live solar panel farm as well as the classrooms to be used for the certification programs.
Keynote speakers at the event were Williams; William V. “Bill” Bell, Mayor of Durham, N.C.; Patrick Boyle, president, UL University; Dale Carroll, Deputy Secretary of Commerce for North Carolina; and Floyd B. McKissick Jr., Senator of North Carolina.
Steve Kalland, executive director of the North Carolina Solar Center at N.C. State said, “There isn’t a lot of agreement nationally on what that should look like, in fact, there are lots and lots of programs as the focus on energy has increased in the U.S.”
He also said that UL’s program adds credibility to the renewable energy movement.
“When a group as organized and as credible and as internationally recognized as UL comes on to the stage and says, we see this technology as something that needs our attention, that’s a pretty good stamp of approval that things are moving in the right direction,” added Kalland.
Boyle hopes that the hands-on training will help practitioners perform their trades safely and effectively.
“By increasing the number of qualified installers, UL is augmenting its 116-year-old commitment to public safety and helping the PV industry position itself to keep up with burgeoning demand and safely provide clean energy solutions to the public,” said Boyle.
The PV system installer course in particular hopes to mitigate unsafe solar installations, which can cause fire, shock and mechanical hazards, and may significantly reduce the lifespan of the installed product.
In the first five-day course, beginning July 26, students will gain hands-on skills in constructing a PV array, installing wiring and equipment, as well as conducting tests and studying safe regulations in the field.
The training, plus other fees, costs $2,975. By the end of 2010, ULU expects to certify 100 people.
Click here for additional information about the PV system installer course.
UL has been leader in standards development for PV products and systems since the early 1980s and is committed to growing its testing and certification services in the global marketplace. From design to installation of PV technology, UL helps make sure that safety is incorporated at each stage. UL is able to work alongside manufacturers to ensure products adhere to the highest industry standards throughout the development of PV technology. UL’s involvement in the solar industry not only extends its public safety mission, it allows UL to actively contribute to a safer, green environment.