For immediate release
Contact: Mozine Lowe, Executive Director,
Center for Energy Education
Contact: Billy Yates
Roanoke Electric Cooperative
Center for Energy Education Facilitates Solar Training for Roanoke Electric
LINEMEN ARE TRAINED IN THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR SYSTEMS
In collaboration with Roanoke Electric Cooperative, the Center for Energy Education is completed its first tailored training course to meet the demands for skilled workers in the operation and maintenance needs of utility scale solar. Roanoke Electric is extending its business model to cross-train lineman to support solar farms in the area and asked the Center to provide training in the field of operations and maintenance.
Over the past several months, 12 linemen from Roanoke Electric were trained in techniques for operation and maintenance of solar production facilities. They were provided intensive training in the specifics including the various components of the solar farm, as well an interconnections and monitoring, adding a new dimension of skill for these highly-trained lineman.
“As our industry gravitates towards more renewable forms of energy such as solar, Roanoke Electric Cooperative is quickly adapting to these changes”, stated Roanoke CEO Curtis Wynn. “The Center is an excellent resource that has supported our efforts to expand the capabilities of our highly skilled employees to a new level. With their support, we are well positioned to help operate and maintain the numerous utility scale solar facilities that are being constructed throughout the region.”
The C4EE assembled training resources with Halifax Community College, North Carolina State University and other specialists from the solar industry. The program comprises both classroom instruction and field visits to solar farms in the area. Halifax Community College provided an introductory course on solar photovoltaics, while NC State offered an overview of operations and maintenance of utility-scale solar. Additional sessions were taught by solar industry partners who provided focused training on a range of topics
“We are excited about the collaboration with Roanoke Electric to provide utility-scale O&M training,” according to Pam Ballew, executive director of the C4EE. “Through our partnerships in the solar industry, and with local and state educational institutions, the Center is perfectly positioned to provide very specialized training to meet the needs of the the renewable industry. The growth of the industry is enourmous, and what we now need is a skilled workforce. The Center is creating this workforce right here where solar farms being established,” Ballew said.
“With the tremendous growth of the solar industry, we clearly see a demand for skilled and properly trained people not only for the construction, but also for the operation and maintenance of the systems,” according to Juergen Fehr of Geenex and member of the Center for Energy Education Board of Directors. “Operation and maintenance is a critical part of the productivity of solar installations to ensure clean and renewable energy for many years to come,” he added.
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR ENERGY EDUCATION
The C4EE is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide educational resources for renewable energy and sustainable living. The 5,000 square-feet, state-of-the-art facility is projected to open in Halifax County in October 2016. Situated on a 60-acre site adjacent to a 30MW solar farm, the goal of the Center is to become a hub for the renewable energy industry by providing information about renewable energy, create awareness, offer courses and hands-on training, and also will inspire students and visitors to get involved with renewable energy.
ABOUT ROANOKE ELECTRIC
Roanoke Electric Cooperative is an electric utility providing service to over 14,000 member-owners in Bertie, Hertford, Halifax, Northampton, Gates, Perquimans and Chowan counties.