COTATI, Calif. - Sun Pirate, a solar contractor, is anticipating an increased demand for certified solar energy professionals and is offering two online courses to help meet that demand. Registration is open for the courses which start Sept. 7.

The two courses - “Fundamentals of Solar Hot Water Heating” and “Photovoltaic System Design & Installation” - will concentrate on the basics of installing code-compliant solar energy systems. Course material will cover practical design criteria, installation guidelines, safety issues, maintenance, and legal considerations of solar hot water heating systems and/or photovoltaic power systems.

Roger Coghlan, president of Sun Pirate, developed the course material and is instructor for both online courses. He has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and planning, with a certificate in energy management and design from Sonoma State University. He also holds a California Vocational Education Teaching Credential.

“Our primary goal with the renewable energy courses we offer,” said Coghlan, “is to help provide our industry and communities a knowledgeable and skilled professional workforce.”

The courses are designed for all levels of professionals. They are said to be ideal for veterans preparing to take the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification exam. The courses will aid current practitioners who want to brush up on their skills and knowledge. They also are tailored for those who want to be employed in the field and gain the initial fundamentals.

Sun Pirate is an accredited continuing education provider through the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Sun Pirate’s courses count for part of the NABCEP requirements to sit for the Photovoltaic Exam and count for continuing education credits to maintain professional certification.

The 11-week Fundamentals of Solar Hot Water Heating course costs $495; the 16-week Photovoltaic System Design & Installation course costs $595. The Hot Water course counts for 40 hours (now increased from 20) for training hours required to sit for the NABCEP installer exam, and the Photovoltaic course counts for 60 hours (up from 30).

For more information, visit To register, visit

Publication date:08/31/2009