Ontario Solar Academy Triples Solar PV Training Capacity | Sponsored Post

Article sponsored by Ontario Solar Academy.

On the heels of 694 recently approved renewable energy projects in the province, Ontario Solar Academy (OSA) has established itself a new 8,000 square foot facility in Vaughan, a city just north of Toronto. The move allows OSA to run three times as many training classes every month – an expansion deemed increasingly necessary due to capacity constraints and renewed interest in green careers across the province.

Since its launch earlier this year, OSA has graduated over 75 alumni, with another 27 slated for May.  The Academy’s 5-day solar training courses have consistently sold out in advance. David Gower, Associate Director of OSA, explains, “To ensure our students master the necessary installation and safety principles, we must keep class sizes small.  The only way to meet demand is to expand the number of solar courses we offer.”

The new solar classes also offer additional opportunities for students to meet important stakeholders in Ontario’s expanding solar community. OSA’s Director, Jacob Travis, explains, “Last month, James Goodnight of Schneider Electric spoke to our students about the launch of their domestic content-approved solar inverters. Before that, James Fraser of the Electrical Safety Authority, came to discuss the process his organization undergoes when approving PV installations for feed-in-tariff status.”  He adds, “More classes means more opportunities for key solar industry leaders in Ontario to meet our students, and vice versa.”

Ontario’s solar industry is expanding rapidly, thanks to feed-in-tariff incentives and aggressive renewable energy legislation.  However, a CanSIA labor market survey details how an impending bottleneck could curb continued growth in the absence of qualified solar professionals.

OSA offers monthly training classes in the Toronto area. The next three solar courses are June 14 – 18, June 21 – 25, and June 28 – July 2, with three to four courses per month thereafter. For more information on solar installation classes, visit Ontario Solar Academy.

Special Offer:

Ontario Solar Academy offers CleanTechies readers a $100 discount off their courses. Simply use discount code ”CleanTechies100” when registering.

About Ontario Solar Academy:

Ontario Solar Academy uses NABCEP learning objectives to quickly advance expertise in solar design and installation. Its 5-Day Solar PV Training includes hands-on workshops that prepare participants for NABCEP’s PV Entry Level Exam.

photo: Ontario Solar Academy

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One comment on “Ontario Solar Academy Triples Solar PV Training Capacity | Sponsored Post

Dealers, Installers, Customers and fellow Solar Advocates,

Recently the OPA has announced a proposed rate change for ground-mounted solar systems, effectively reducing the microFIT contract rate from 80.2c/kWh to 58.8c/kWh, a 27% decrease. They have based this change on the claim that ground-mounted systems are cheaper to install than roof mounted systems and therefore produce an unreasonable rate of return. Based on industry experience and information provided by installers and consumers this claim is clearly incorrect.

Within the same News release the OPA states, “The microFIT Program is designed to encourage home owners, farmers, small businesses and institutions to develop small renewable energy generation projects of 10 kilowatts or less”. Based on the OPA conference call on July 6th it is estimated that 10,000-11,000 of the received 16,000 applications are for ground-mount systems, which means nearly 70% of all applicants will be affected by this proposed rate change. As if a rate change was not bad enough, the applicants who in good faith applied for contracts as far back as January are going to be retroactively affected by the change should it be adopted.

The OPA’s proposed rate change has already sent ripples of uncertainty and disappointment through the industry, with the real damage yet to be done. This rate change will cripple the industry before it has even gotten off the ground. Fewer ground mount systems will be sold, and public trust in the integrity of the program will be lost if we do not act now.

The premise of the FIT and microFIT programs was to create green jobs in the sales, installation and manufacturing sectors. That call was answered, product was designed and fabricators have tooled up, and now with the rate change it looks like it may have all been for naught. The OPA has described this up and down rollercoaster as “the growing pains of a new industry”. For those who have invested their life savings, built businesses and endeavored to develop new products in Ontario this is much more than “growing pains”, these are crippling and quite possibly bankrupting blows.

The ultimate reliability and integrity of the FIT program now hangs in the balance of this final decision by the OPA.

This website and petition has been launched to help unify our voice with those who may be affected by this rate change. The intention is to show the OPA in a clear succinct manner what impact their decision will have, and why it is so important to leave the rates unchanged for all microFIT projects.

Please help us and our industry get back on track by signing our Petition and helping build our case to the OPA.



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