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hands on solar, leading photovoltaics education

We can all agree that the solar photovoltaics industry is booming, it’s taking off like a rocket ship. Although with all this rapid growth surrounding the industry there are growth barriers in the way before solar photovoltaics can reach the mainstream market. There just isn’t enough qualified people to help customers go solar, the industry and governments have been funding research & development of photovoltaic technology although they’ve overlooked a critical component, solar education. I met Brian Hurd, at an ethnic press conference at USC back in 2006 and was intrigued by his passion to provide quality photovoltaic education and through that experience I learned about the great work he was doing training future solar professionals at the East Los Angeles Skills Center (ELASC). I immediately told my friend Linh Tran to check out the ELASC since he was eager to learn more about photovoltaics. Linh went to visit the school and was hooked from the very first day, he enrolled the class and the rest is history. He went through the program and eventually became a NABCEP entry level professional, which is certificate of basic knowledge of photovoltaic systems received at the end of the program, if the student is able to pass a well balanced test. In fact, ELASC has the highest passing ratio in the industry for the NABCEP photovoltaic entry level exam. Today, Linh and other great students from Brian’s class at the ELASC are working with to help customers become more energy efficient and produce power from the sun. At that point I realized that education is the key in the photovoltaics industry, it improves the customer experience of purchasing solar power, keeps the industry reputable by having safe code compliant installations in the field and it makes it easier for solar companies to create jobs since the qualified labor is being manufactured by solar photovoltaics school put together by Brian. Brain recently retired from ELASC and handed off the teaching to some great instructors but he isn’t throwing in the towel just yet. He’s now focusing 100% of his time to push solar education even further into the mainstream through Hands on Solar, a company he founded to improve solar education nationwide. Brian’s goal is to allow schools all over the country to share the same success the photovoltaic program has achieved at the ELASC. Hands on Solar works with individual schools to assist in the set up of appropriate instructional programs in photovoltaics, alternative energy, and energy efficiency, based on industry set standards. In partnership with the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and Advanced Transportation...

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SolSolution – Solar Energy 4 Education

Public Schools across the USA typically have resource constraints, in most cases, Schools work on fixed and limited budgets can’t afford to invest in programs that can give students in the U.S. education system a chance to compete with superior overseas education. Just like every household and business in the USA, skyrocketing energy costs are forcing people and organizations to scale back their spending. Unfortunately the raising energy costs effects our most important assets also, our public school systems. SolSolution, an interesting not for profit venture helps schools take control of electric costs by providing solar power systems at no upfront cost to a school, through a power purchase agreement (PPA). A PPA is a contract between a organization and investor to install a solar power plant on the schools roof for no upfront cost in return for a lower electric rate per kWh then the school would receive from the utility company. Schools can instantly lower their electric rates and save hundreds of thousands of dollars to reinvest the savings back into their students. A great solution for the american school system! According to the SolSolution Website: “SolSolution’s innovative, nonprofit business model allows us to: • Increase the quality of education in schools by providing them with additional financial resources. • Generate clean, renewable, carbon-free electricity. • Support the solar installer industry. Many school districts spend anywhere from $1 million to $60 million per year for electricity. We enable a massive shift in the use of these funds. For underprivileged schools with limited educational resources, such a shift in funds can make a world of difference! Imagine your local school creating a new art studio, a science and engineering lab, and hiring additional teachers (or paying the great ones what they’re worth!).” I spoke to Soren one of the Directors of SolSolution today, Sorren Harrison who is very passionate about SolSoltions’s initiative said the non-profit organization has selected their first school in which are raising funds and awareness about helping Big Bear High School in California control their electric expenses through solar power. A pre-analysis and financial feasbility study has been completed and now the group is looking for donations and support from the community to get this project completed sucessfuly. If you would like to learn more about SolSolution, please visit their website, although what would really help is if you donate to this great cause...

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