From: John G. Edwards, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Published October 19, 2004 12:00 AM

Nevada Program will Teach Workers to Install Solar-Power Systems

Oct. 19—Nevada officials on Monday announced a federally funded program to train electrical workers to install solar systems.

A $250,000 federal grant will be used to build a photovoltaic training demonstration center and for training electrician journeymen and apprentices to install photovoltaic systems. Photovoltaic systems, which can be installed in houses and business buildings, convert sunlight directly into electricity.

The Nevada State AFL-CIO and Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee are managing the program. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local No. 357 and the Nevada chapter of the National Electrical Contractors association sponsor the joint apprenticeship program.

As part of the program, a 1-kilowatt photovoltaic system will be installed at 620 Leigon Way, Pam Egan of the AFL-CIO said. Electrical workers will dismantle and rebuild the system as part of their training. The system will also be used to generate between 1,800 and 2,200 kilowatt hours of electricity each year.

New apprentices will be trained to install the systems, and about 80 journeymen will get training on the systems each year as well. The grant is for two years but training program will pick up the expenses of continuing the training in future years, Egan said.

She hopes Nevada will be able to attract solar photovoltaic-system manufacturers given the pool of electricians trained in photovoltaics.

Nevada Power is offering rebates to homeowners and small businesses for installation of photovoltaic systems. The training program is designed to ensure the state has certified workers who know how to install those systems.

© 2004, Las Vegas Review-Journal. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

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