Current and potential solar photovoltaics (PV) practitioners in the Eastern Caribbean are currently benefiting from a training and international certification programme, aimed at persons who are currently working or are interested in the industry but lack internationally recognised certification.
Approximately 150 women and men will be trained in the installation of PV systems as part of this initiative. Additionally, 25 electrical inspectors will be trained to approve and certify grid-tied PV systems based on international standards for efficiency and safety. The initiative is being pursued under the Sustainable Energy for the Eastern Caribbean (SEEC) Programme of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) with the beneficiaries coming from the six independent OECS Countries participating in SEEC, namely: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The SEEC Programme is executed by CDB with funding provided by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID), the European Union (EU) and CDB with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission (OECSC) as a collaborating partner. The OECS Commission is is managing this capacity-building PV training and certification programme and the training is being conducted by Green Solutions International SKN Inc., a regional sustainable energy training company.
“Solar energy is the fastest growing renewable energy segment in the Caribbean and the market is expected to continue to expand as demand for sustainable technologies increases. Key to supporting the growth of the solar industry is a cadre of trained professionals who can correctly design, install and maintain PV systems,” says Joseph Williams, Head (ag.) of the Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Unit at CDB.
On successful completion of the course of training, participants will be able to sit an examination for certification by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. The training runs from July to October 2020 and the first cohort of trainees began on July 27. Given COVID-19 restrictions, courses are being conducted online to allow participants flexibility in study and to learn at their own pace.
Judith Ephraim, Programme Coordinator for Sustainable Energy at the OECS Commission noted:
“This is as an important step in supporting the OECS region in advancing sustainable energy for economic development, enhanced resilience and a greener economy”.