This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 31, 2011

Kennebec Valley Community College's State-of-the-Art Solar Lab

Advancing solar technology is not only key to increasing the affordability of renewable power, it's also critical to spreading its economic benefits across the country. That's why Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) in Fairfield, Maine, has created a program to increase the quality and availability of training in how to install solar systems in the Northeast.

The lab may have hosted its grand opening recently, but the facility has been in development for more than a year and hosted two separate "train the trainers" sessions before the facility was even complete. Course participants from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont come from community colleges, apprentice programs, career education programs, and private companies.

In 2009, with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, DOE launched the Solar Instructor Training Network to coordinate training in solar system design, installation, inspection, and sales. KVCC was chosen to be one of nine regional U.S. training centers. See the Energy Blog post.