Aboriginal Training: Solar Energy - Photovoltaics

Two cohorts have successfully passed through the MTCU funded Solar Energy - Photovoltaics training program targeted towards Aboriginal Persons.

These students came from Aboriginal communities across Canada:

  • Wikwemikong,
  • Whitedog,
  • Orillia,
  • Birch Island, and
  • the Native Child and Family Services of Toronto.

Students completed:

  • RETScreen training
  • Fall Arrest training
  • two day installation training workshop
  • shading analysis using the Solar Pathfinder
  • business fundamentals
  • solar photovoltaic grid-tied technical fundamentals course work

Become a Pathway Partner

Morrison Hershfield Engineering in Toronto is a current Pathway Partner. Al Bhanji, Vice President of Mechanical and Electrical Services at the consulting firm has recently hired one of these graduates and says,

With over 50 solar projects to be managed this summer, Morrison Hershfield is delighted to have participated in the Pathway Partnership program, which provides us access to trained solar PV technicians. We’re very happy with the level of training, professionalism and passion for the work of the graduate we’ve hired.

A Direct Employment Cost (DEC) supplement of $2,000 is provided for each graduate engaged in a career advancement opportunity. The DEC is subject to a contract between the employer and the CEI, stipulating the type and duration of the advancement opportunity.

If you are interested in learning more about the solar PV training program and becoming a Pathway Partner, please contact Jackie Hazlewood, Special Projects Coordinator at jhazlewood@centennialcollege.ca or T 416 289 5000 x 2364

DEC contracts must be concluded prior to March 31, so don’t delay in contacting us!

Graduate Skill Sets

The ESAP graduates were trained over a 6-week period encompassing 240+ hours of classroom and lab training as Solar PV grid-tied installers, with the following skills:

Technical Fundamentals

  • The solar resource - measures, variability etc.
  • PV cells and the PN junction
  • Types of PV cells (mon, poly etc.)
  • Module construction and specs
  • Site and shading analysis using the solar Pathfinder
  • RETScreen technical analysis of solar projects
  • The I-V curve and MPPT
  • Grid-tied inverters - purpose, functions
  • Balance of system components
  • Use of multimeters
  • ESA requirements and inspections
  • General electrical safety
  • Fall prevention and arrest (with certificate from Safe-Tech Inc)
  • Solar PV roof installation practices (workshop)

Business Fundamentals

  • Business communications
  • Financial planning and goals
  • Personal goals and self-promotion
  • Becoming an Entrepreneur
  • Green Energy Act and the FIT/MicroFIT program
  • The OPA's Aboriginal Energy Partnership Program (AEPP)
  • RETScreen financial analysis of solar projects

The graduates have also been equipped with and trained on the following:

  • Complete Fall-arrest kit (North Rite-On harness, safety line, line clutch, roof anchor)
  • Laptop with RETScreen and Solar Pathfinder software,
  • Personal safety gear (CSA safety boots, construction helmet, workgloves)
  • Toolbelt and toolkit (socket and allen key sets, angle finder and assorted other hand tools)
  • REED waterproof true RMS multimeter.

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