The National Solar Training Center

After years of planning, the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) has created the first professional-level photovoltaic (PV) training program in Haiti to help develop a skilled work force to help build and maintain the country’s expanding solar infrastructure. Funding for year one of the program comes from the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.   SELF’s partner is Haiti Tec – an established vocational school in Port au Prince.

The first class of the one-year program started in October 2017 with 39 students, including 15 women on scholarships provided by the Canadian NGO, Centre for International Studies.  The response to the new program was so overwhelming that we had to create an additional class.

The core of the program is a one-year course for those who already have electrician training or a background in electricity.  It is designed to produce high-level technicians capable of installing and maintaining nearly all types of PV systems.

An optional second year is under development that will focus on larger systems such as micro-grids, design and specification of systems, and basic business development.

A key element of the professional training course is a well-equipped lab with actual complete PV systems of the type graduates are likely to encounter in Haiti.  Our objective in having a strong hands-on training program is that students are ready to be productive and employable as soon as they graduate.

SELF has been implementing all aspects of PV projects around the globe since 1990, including training.  Through our experience, we have developed the knowledge of what skills are needed by local technicians and how to teach them to others.  The safety and quality standards taught are based on best North American practices.

From this successful program development with Haiti Tec, SELF is ready to replicate this or a similar program wherever there is a critical need for renewable energy and a need for developing the local capacity to implement and sustain solar projects.

 

Installing solar modules at outdoor lab

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