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Aug 29
2011

ONTILITY Launches Solar Training in Los Angeles, CA

POSTED BY Ruben Salinas in Solar PV Modules , Solar Incentive Program , solar energy , renewable energy , Relaunch Solar Program , Los Angeles Solar Energy



ONTILITY will offer its semi-annual NABCEP PV Installer Certification Exam Prep Course in Los Angeles for the first time on Sept. 15-16.  The advanced solar training class for experienced Solar PV Installers will be held at the Wilshire Blvd offices of the Advanced Computing Institute.

The consistent solar industry growth in California is supported by the efforts of local utilities, which are constantly coming up with new and brand viagra professional improved incentives. With solar incentives continuing to drive market growth at truly amazing rates, there is no better time for solar installers to get the solar training needed to get this prestigious NABCEP PV Installer Certification. In California, the incentives don't stop coming, recently LADWP announced they are re-launching their Solar Incentive Program on September 1, 2011.

ONTILITY's intensive two-day NABCEP Exam Preparation Course helps qualified professional solar installers through the difficult task of passing the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Solar PV Installer Certification Exam.  Solar PV Installers who attend this class will review advanced PV design problems, electrical and cheapest viagra safety topics, and discuss test-taking strategies. The enrolment fees for ONTILITY's two-day exam preparatory class is $595, and can be accomplished online. John Berry, ONTILITY's Director of Training Sales notes, "The ONTILITY Solar Training program is a truly comprehensive approach to professional solar training and canadian healthcare cialis career development. It's much more than workshops and bruising on cialis seminars. ONTILITY Solar Training provides solar energy courses and viagra soft tabs 100mg career paths which are in tune with what the industry and the best price of viagra market demand. Following the Los Angeles training program launch in September, ONTILITY will offer a full schedule of solar design, installation and 50 mg cialis PV technical sales training courses in the following months."

Expanding into California is a logical step for ONTILITY and is a direct response to the continued rapid growth of the solar energy industry nationwide. Tom Pash, President and viagra price cost CEO said, "We are very excited to be opening a customer support and overnight delivery cialis sales office and canadian viagra 50mg offering solar training in California. We bring a unique combination of products and services that the West Coast market needs. The solar industry continues to grow very fast, more than 50% last year, and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Along with that market growth, business and employment opportunities are growing as well. Job growth this year alone is at about 26%, adding 24,000 new jobs into the solar workforce."

So if you are a West Coast solar professional, you'll want to get to know Patrick Clifford, a solar energy industry veteran who will be heading up the ONTILITY sales and dealer support services in California. Before joining ONTLITY Patrick was President and CEO of SDE Solar Inc., where he gained experience in both the residential and commercial solar markets. Patrick said, "With ONTILITY's world class warehouse and tremendous purchasing power, we can meet the needs of the California market. Couple that with extensive solar project and support services and our comprehensive solar training program and you've got the perfect fit for this market."

And if you are working in the solar industry you've probably heard how rigorous the NABCEP Certified PV Installer exam is. Brian Cunningham, ONTILITY Solar Instructor, Design Engineer and NABCEP Certified PV Installer, puts it this way, "I took the Solar PV Installer test this past March. I have to say that it was probably one of the harder open-book tests that I've taken. Now I'm not trying to scare anyone, but you need to be very well prepared if you want to pass. NABCEP certification has become the de facto standard for installing solar (thermal and PV) in the US. If it's already not required to install solar in your area, it soon may be. You need to be certified." Brian continues, "When I walked out of the exam room, I realized that I was not as ready as I had thought. I had studied every resource and practice exam that I could find to prepare, but in the end the actual exam looked like none of what I had studied. Yet I managed to pass. Why? I think because I had spent so much time trying to solve the problem of passing the test that I practiced the very skill that is the key to passing the test – Problem Solving. And that seems to be the crux of what NABCEP is looking for.

When you look at the NABCEP Certified PV Installer Job Task Analysis, you'll see six major content domains covered and that everything involves finding the best solution to a problem. Whether it's identifying the correct way to deal with potential hazards, finding the best location for equipment or even selecting the best tools for a job, problem solving is required. That's why the itemization of tasks is so extensive and comprehensive, covering every aspect of PV system design, project management and installation, electrical components, commissioning, operation, maintenance and troubleshooting.

So how can you better prepare for the NABCEP Certified PV Installer Exam?
First, read everything on NABCEP's reading list. Second, spend some extra time with the NEC, 2008 edition. Even if you are an experienced electrician, review the sections which pertain to solar and memorize where things are. Other than a calculator, the code book is the only resource available to you during the 4-hour test. And you do not want to spend extra time trying to figure out what part of the code applies to the problems. Third, review the details of every PV project you've ever worked on, no matter how minor those details may seem. Think about issues you had to solve both during the design and on-site during the installation. The kinds of problems you've solved before may show up on a 60 question test in September.

Finally, Attend the ONTILITY NABCEP Exam Prep Class. If you are a licensed electrician or hold certification in any trade, you probably didn't take that exam without a test prep session. Don't try it with the NABCEP exam. And now in addition to Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Houston, you can take this class in Los Angeles.

Improve your problem solving ability, as Brian said, "…this is the key." Being able to think through complex problems quickly, find the information you need efficiently and draw sound conclusions is extremely important. This is precisely the reason that ONTILITY designed its AS210 - NABCEP PV Installer Certification Exam Prep class the way they did. Two days of advanced design challenges, installation problems and code issues. Two days of intense problem solving, lively discussion and instruction from one of ONTILITY's Solar Instructors, all NABCEP Certified PV Installers, so they know what they're talking about, that's how you can prepare for the test.

NABCEP PV Installer Certification continues to gain ground as an industry standard as more utility companies and government agencies require that systems be installed by a NABCEP Certified Installer for those systems to qualify for incentives. ONTILITY, in keeping with its commitment to solar industry growth, wants to help as many qualified solar professionals as possible to become NABCEP certified. If you have the experience and knowledge to qualify for the NABCEP exam, we want to do whatever we can to help you pass it the first time. Our exam prep class is one way we can help.

Aug 25
2011

LADWP To Relaunch Solar Incentive Program

POSTED BY Ruben Salinas in Solar PV Modules , Solar Incentive Program , solar energy , renewable energy , Relaunch Solar Program , Los Angeles Solar Energy , LADWP

 

by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Aug 22, 2011
Under a plan approved by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will relaunch its Solar Incentive Program (SIP) next month with double the budget for the next three years, a faster and more transparent customer experience, and revised incentive levels that are more in line with market pricing and allow greater participation. LADWP will resume accepting applications for solar incentives starting Sept. 1, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.
The new SIP guidelines incorporate public input received during workshops last month. The program had been placed on temporary hold April 9, as the demand for incentives was far outpacing the available budget by about 3 to 1. The suspension was initiated to catch up with a backlog of applications and solar inspections; increase customer education to address safety concerns; gain input on improving the program; and identify alternative financing options.
"As we re-launch the Solar Incentive Program in September, it is extremely important that we leverage the incentives to achieve the most solar power and encourage as much customer participation as possible. We also want to grow solar at a steady and sustainable pace while being prudent about the cost to all customers who pay for this program through their rates," said LADWP General Manager Ronald O. Nichols.
Mr. Nichols has also asked staff to investigate more options for making solar affordable to low income customers. "We need to do more to make solar accessible to customers of all income levels. In the next few months we will come back with more leasing options and other proposals for lower income households," he said.
Under SB 1, the state's "Million Solar Roofs" legislation established a goal of 280 megawatts and mandated that LADWP spend $313 million through the end of 2016 for solar photovoltaic incentives. "We are committed to spending the full $313 million for customer incentives and achieving as much solar as possible with that level of funding," Mr. Nichols said.
"One of the biggest dilemmas we have faced in this program is setting the incentive level to make the program more attractive to customers since our power rates were, and continue to be, much lower than those of the state's other major utilities," notes Aram Benyamin, Senior Assistant General Manager - Power. The paradox is that offering higher incentive levels made less money available for more customers to install solar systems.
"Now that significant tax incentives are being offered by the federal government, we have an opportunity to reduce our incentive levels to be more in line with market pricing, which should give more customers the opportunity to build solar and increase the amount of solar PV that can be built through this program," Mr. Benyamin said.
Under the guidelines approved Tuesday, the incentive levels were revised to be consistent with the California Solar Initiative, which is better aligned with existing solar markets and achieves a reasonable payback period for customers. LADWP will continue to offer the option of assigning the "REC" (Renewable Energy Credit) to LADWP and receiving an additional $0.40 per watt-which makes the incentive significantly higher than the state minimum.
Also to encourage more solar and benefit more customers, LADWP has increased the budget for incentive payments to $60 million in the current fiscal year and anticipates requesting an additional $60 million per year in each of the next two fiscal years. This is made possible by using long-term bond financing to lower the program's annual budget impact. The higher budget for incentives allows more solar to be built faster.
Under the revised program, LADWP will suspend the program when new reservations reach the $40 million level until the next fiscal year. This will ensure the program stays on a steady pace, within its annual budget, while allowing applications already approved and in the pipeline to proceed.
Since the program began in August 2006, LADWP customers have installed 35 MW under SB 1 and the Department expects that an additional 25 MW will be installed during the current fiscal year. An additional 35 MW in confirmed incentives is reserved and pending installation by customers and their installers for a program total of 95 MW of installed and pending Solar PV in the City.
The revamped program will utilize an online, automated application tool, "PowerClerk," designed to streamline the customer experience and increase transparency of the process. "A customer will register and apply for the incentive online, then be able to track their application throughout the entire process," said Mr. Benyamin said. "At any given time, the customer will know where they stand in the process."
The revised guidelines were modified to address comments received from over 400 people who participated in a series of outreach meetings conducted last month. Many of the comments focused on the need for a more transparent and sustainable program. Participants also commented on some of the specific proposals, such as an annual reservation limit of $40 million per year, requiring proof of a building permit prior to submitting the application, the lowered incentives levels, and lowering the incentive levels for leased residential systems to match those for commercial systems.
In response, LADWP revised the proposed guidelines to create more transparency and more flexibility, including:
The new guidelines set an annual reservation limit of $40 million per year. To address concerns, LADWP will provide frequent online updates to show the running total of reservation requests so that installers and customers will be able to monitor reservation requests.
Participants will have up to 60 days after receiving a confirmation on their solar incentive reservations to submit their building permit and also have the ability to request an extension.
LADWP will monitor the incentive levels and modify them if participation dips too low.
The incentive levels for leased residential systems will be lowered to match those for commercial systems. Officials said this change is appropriate because leased systems benefit from a federal tax allowance for an accelerated depreciation of a solar installation. Purchased residential or governmental systems cannot take advantage of accelerated depreciation.
LADWP also modified proposed measures to address installers and customers activating their systems prior to LADWP inspection and approval.

 

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