Preparing Veterans for the Coming Surge in the U.S. Solar Energy Industry

Training ex US military to install solar power like in this timelapse video
Training ex US military to install solar power like in this timelapse video

U.S. Solar Energy Industry – ( Solar Thermal Magazine)

Recently in the United States, President Obama outlined a plan to train armed forces veterans for a new war, the clean energy war and the coming surge in solar power installations not just in the US, but around the world. The project is named Solar Ready Vets.

According to the Solar Energy Industry Association:

The U.S. installed 6,201 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) in 2014 and 767 MW of concentrating solar power to reach 20 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity, enough to power 4 million American homes. 32 percent of new electric generating capacity came from solar in 2014, and the industry now employs nearly 175,000 workers, more than tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter combined

In line with this, Vivint Solar has announced that they will continue to recruit military graduates in an effort to support the second graduating class of United States’ Department of Energy’s ‘Solar Ready Vets’ program at United States Army installation, Fort Carson, located near Colorado Springs.

Timelapse video of what solar veterans will be trained to do

Timelapse video of what solar veterans will be trained to do

‘Solar Ready Vets’ is an intensive solar workforce training designed to help place qualified transitioning military service members into the solar industry and is enabled by the U.S. Department of Defense’s SkillBridge initiative.

Greg Butterfield , CEO of Vivint Solar had this to say:

We are honored to be a recruiting partner with the Department of Energy’s ‘Solar Ready Vets’ program and congratulate its second training class, the first at Fort Carson. We hope that more graduating veterans will join us in creating a brighter, more sustainable future and help stimulate our economy.

What is the Solar Ready Vets course all about?

‘Solar Ready Vets’ includes an intense four to six weeks of solar photovoltaic coursework and training. Each graduate gains the skills to size and install solar panels, safely connect electricity to the grid, and learns to interpret and comply with local building code requirements. Additional pilot courses will be offered at United States Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia and Hill Air Force Base in Utah later this year.

In total, the program aims to train about 200 active military personnel who are within a few months of veteran status.
Here is a timelapse video of a solar installation from Vivint Solar showing the type of work that Solar Vets will be trained to perform.

About Gordon Smith
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.

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