WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) will serve as the National Administrator for the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) to help develop a national solar training infrastructure which can meet the employment needs of the growing domestic solar industry. IREC will receive up to $4.5 million of funding over five years to administer the program. Through the work of the Training Network, DOE expects over 1,400 instructors will be trained across the nation, creating the capacity to train thousands of workers for the solar installation industry.

DOE selected IREC to serve as the national point of contact for the Training Network, conducting outreach to disseminate its products and best practices recommendations. It will manage the Training Network’s collaboration, coordinate its joint activities, and work with a range of stakeholders to prioritize and address issues related to solar training.

The Solar Instructor Training Network was launched with $10 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding in October 2009, to address the need for high-quality, local, and accessible training in solar system design, installation, sales, and inspection, said DOE. The network includes nine Regional Training Providers that extend coverage to the entire United States. The Regional Training Providers support the professional development of instructors who provide instruction on solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar heating and cooling installations.

The Solar Instructor Training Network will also develop national curricula, sponsor workshops, create training models for local instructors, and develop best practices.

For more information, visit www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/instructor_training_network.html.

Publication date:09/13/2010