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Solar Energy International (SEI) Provides Solar Training for Electrical Inspectors

Posted by: chris
March 25, 2013
Solar Energy International (SEI) has completed its third round of Electrical Inspector trainings, with daylong sessions in Tucson, AZ, Las Vegas, NV, and Kansas City, KS. As part of an ongoing Department of Energy Grant, SEI is working in conjunction with the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) and Underwriters Laboratory (UL) to provide training to hundreds of inspectors in jurisdictions across the Rocky Mountain Solar Training Program region. Attendees receive continuing education credit through the IAEI. The range of inspectors, building officials, city planners, and system designers and installers that have attended makes for a diverse and knowledgeable group.

SEI Instructor Rebekah Hren, who has co-taught all seven of the classes SEI has presented, says, “It’s been a pleasure to meet inspectors from all over the western half of the country. They’re a great bunch and I’m pretty sure they’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.”

Many areas have experienced inspectors that have seen numerous types of PV systems – they appreciate the focus on the latest National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements as they pertain to PV systems, as well as new standards in the 2012 International Building and Fire Codes (IBC and IFC).

Other jurisdictions are just starting to see the PV market grow locally, and inspectors in these areas appreciate learning the best practices to look for, common code violations they should be aware of, and getting a head-start on what will be an increasing number of PV systems they inspect.

And of course the PV designers and installers like to rub elbows with the folks that will be inspecting their plan-sets and inspecting their systems, while getting high-level training at the same time.

Brian Mehalic, a curriculum developer and instructor for SEI, has also been co-teaching the classes. He reports that “While different jurisdictions are on different cycles of the code and have different levels of PV activity, the inspectors are all anxious to learn and have such wide-ranging backgrounds that they all bring a unique and valuable perspective to the class. It’s been my favorite type of class – one where I feel I’ve learned a lot too.”

Special thanks to Elias Bishop at the Utah Solar Energy Association, Rick Hollander with the IAEI Southern Arizona Chapter, Colleen Crowninshield with the Pima Association of Governments, Bruce Plank with the City of Tucson, Robert Buntjer and his crew at the Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee of Southern Nevada, Randy Hunter with IAEI Southern Nevada Chapter, Steven Ward with the IAEI Missouri - Kansas Chapter as well as Dan Eberle with the Johnson County Community College.
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