The Southeast Solar Training Network (SSTN) addresses the critical needs for high-quality, local, and accessible training in solar system design, installation and inspection. The Southeastern region training network is a project intended to create a geographic network that will offer training programs in solar installations across the Southeastern region of the U. S.
Phase I of the SSTN training network operated a train-the-trainer program for a nine state and territory regions in the Southeastern U.S. The Florida Solar Energy Center was the operator of this network. The training network provided the capacity to train educational instructors in photovoltaics (PV) and solar water heating (SWH) from institutions designated by the Energy Offices in the nine partner states and territories. Following that, the trained instructors conducted training in PV and SWH at their respective educational institutions.
The continuing goal of Phase II of the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) is to help facilitate and support the creation of a well-trained and highly qualified solar energy workforce of sufficient size and diversity to meet the projected needs of this country. As one of nine Regional Training Providers (RTPs), the Southeast Provider of Solar Instructor Training (SSTN) will serve in the capacity of trainer and mentor for photovoltaic related faculty at local educational institutions, and will partner in the creation of a national training network.
Under Phase II the SSTN will address the education and professional development of solar instructors through:
• Providing classroom and hands-on training in the region
• Assisting in development of standardized photovoltaic (PV) curricula for the local educational institutions
• Making available online training and reference modules and other training materials and tools for the training partners
• Coordinating and promoting best practices in the solar industry through working with all identified training centers and the National Administrator
The SSTN will also help achieve the following goals of the SITN program:
• Address a critical need for quality trainers in photovoltaic technologies at community colleges and other identified candidates in partnering states
• Develop a new certificate program as appropriate to train new trainers in the solar industry
• Develop online information and resources that are beneficial to training instructors and their programs
• Implement workshops and face-to-face conferences with trainers, community colleges, vocational and technical high schools, industry partners, and state energy offices
• Serve as a training provider to Code Officials in the region (building, electrical, fire, safety and other types of inspectors involved with permitting and inspection of solar PV installations) to increase Code Officials’ understanding of PV-related inspection issues, and reduce the time and cost of solar installation permitting and inspection.