The United States is on track to install 4 million residential solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays by 2020. Ensuring that these installations meet current codes and standards is the job of building and electrical inspectors. To help code officials, architects, builders and solar installers keep up with the latest solar codes and safety requirements, Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has added new informational videos to its suite of training resources.
IREC partnered with the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) and the International Code Council (ICC) to develop resources for code officials to learn the key aspects of solar technology related to their trade. The educational videos target a broad audience by highlighting the inspection process. Code officials who have experience inspecting solar installations will be reminded of important details of the process. Inspectors who are new to solar PV will be introduced to essential aspects of the inspection and referred to more detailed training.
“Officials involved in the planning, inspection and permitting of residential solar installations now have access to solar training and education in their office, at home and in the field,” says IREC Director of Workforce Development Laure-Jeanne Davignon. “The wide variety of tools allows code officials new to solar and experienced professionals to learn in the format they choose: in-person, online, printable documents or videos.”
IAEI CEO David Clements called the videos a “must-see” and an excellent resource to educate code officials and inspectors working in the field on residential solar installations. “Training from the NEC® (National Electrical Code), along with other codes and standards, has become a critical combination to ensure a safe installation,” he stated in a press release. “Knowledge and knowing how to apply it will ensure a code compliant installation.”
ICC and IAEI regional chapters have begun hosting one-day trainings where code officials can learn the steps of accurate, consistent solar permit plan review. The trainings focus on the pre-inspection work of reviewing and approving the plan. To complement what they learn in the class, or as an introduction beforehand, participants can watch two new brief videos on the details of residential solar inspection. Residential Solar Inspection Best Practices Part 1: Rooftop, and Residential Solar Inspection Best Practices Part 2: Ground Level both run a little over four minutes. Professionals can take a deeper dive into field inspection practices in a self-paced online training. All classes and resources are free to participants as part of the Department of Energy SunShot Solar Training and Education for Professionals (STEP) program.
More than 5,000 professionals have engaged in the PV Online Training since it became available in 2012. The new in-person plan review course is being very well received, too, with more than 2,500 participants to date. Evaluations from participants have applauded the hands-on approach to the material and the way it connects the different aspects of inspection to each other and to real-life scenarios.
For more information on these training opportunities, contact IREC at 518-621-7379.
Source: Interstate Renewable Energy Council, 9/13/17