press release - solar grant

Public Relations | Press Releases

 

Release date: 08-2-2012

 

KVCC awarded $1 million solar training grant

 

Fairfield, ME –Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) has been awarded a $1 million federal grant to provide solar photovoltaic training to instructors across the Northeast United States over the next two and a half years.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will allow the College to transition its Northeast Solar Heating and Cooling Instructor Training Project (NSHCITP) to a new focus on photovoltaic, or solar electric, training.

Like the previous program, the new project will be a top-down “train the trainers” effort designed to improve, facilitate, and support the creation of a well-trained and highly qualified solar energy workforce of sufficient size and diversity to meet the projected needs of the region.

“It is flattering to be part of this national effort to help build the future solar workforce in our region and throughout the country,” KVCC’s Director of Energy Programs, Dana Doran, said. “We are elated that DOE recognizes the value that KVCC provides to the solar marketplace and has chosen to continue supporting our efforts in solar training.  This is an exceptional opportunity for KVCC to expand its program to include solar photovoltaic instructor training both now and for the future.”

Doran noted how crucial the efforts and support of Maine’s congressional delegation were to KVCC’s success in securing the grant. Members of the delegation joined in applauding news of the award.

“I congratulate Kennebec Valley Community College on receiving this critical grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy that will help develop a state-of-the-art photovoltaic training program,” said U. S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). “This is a critical opportunity for KVCC and, indeed, the entire State of Maine, and will help boost employment opportunities while ultimately reducing Maine energy bills. I could not be more pleased by this win-win proposition.”

“I’ve visited this program and seen firsthand the good work that’s being done,” said U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine). “This investment in KVCC will allow them to expand their training efforts and help move our adoption of clean energy forward.  It’s a win-win for the college and for jobs in our region.”

As the Northeast Provider of Solar Instructor Training – North, KVCC will expand regional training offerings for instructors of residential photovoltaic installers and will train instructors of commercial building photovoltaic installers. KVCC will also train code and building officials, and other industry professionals who manage permitting and inspection approvals for solar installations.

KVCC will serve local educational providers in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Much of the foundation for the new training effort is already in place thanks to the efforts that accompanied the startup and subsequent success of the NSHCITP, which established KVCC as a regional leader in renewable energy education.

The NSHCITP was created as part of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Instructor Training Network, which was launched in 2009 to improve the quality and accessibility of solar installation training and expand the nation’s trained solar workforce. DOE funded a National Administrator and nine Regional Training Providers to train instructors, develop curricula, and standardize local training efforts.

KVCC was selected by DOE as one of the nine Regional Training Providers, winning a five-year, $3.3 million grant from DOE to support the effort. The project was supported through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

KVCC began incorporating elements of renewable energy education in its Electrical Technology program in 1995 and has expanded its role in such education steadily over the years.

Now offering mutiple credit and non-credit programs in renewable energy through its state-of-the art Energy Services and Technology Center, the College is at the forefront of regional education efforts in this fast-growing sector of the economy, and has gained national recognition as a leader in the field.

To learn more about renewable energy programs at KVCC, go to http://www.kvcc.me.edu/energyservices/

Kennebec Valley Community College is one of seven community colleges in Maine. KVCC prepares full-time and part-time students to enter the job market, to transfer to colleges and universities, and to achieve their professional and personal goals.  Programs and services support the economic growth of the community in response to changing needs.

In 2011 and again in 2012, KVCC was named one of the top community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute, placing in the top 10 percent of two-year colleges based on student success rates.

To learn more about KVCC, go to www.kvcc.me.edu.

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