Michael, one of our general systems interns and two participants work to install the solar modules along the roof.

Michael, one of our general systems interns and two participants work to install the solar modules along the roof.

Earlier this month we announced that CEIS was granted an annual business license to practice the business of solar design and installation throughout the Bahamas. We are the only approved Bahamian solar engineering, procurement and construction firm on Eleuthera and proud of it! One of our values as an organization is to center our business on our local and global community and environment. With that in mind, we developed the certificate training program in collaboration with the Center for Training and Innovation (CTI) which was approved by the Ministry of Education, to accompany the new permission. The certification program will benefit Bahamian locals as they will gain technical and practical skills throughout the program.

Last week, seven participants completed a practical week-long training program which certifies them in solar installation. Bryan, one of our sustainability teachers who specializes in renewable energy, designed the curriculum and taught the course. During the first half of the week the participants spent time in the classroom learning how to evaluate a potential solar site, the basics of solar design and site construction.

Friday, the participants completed the last part of the course which required them to apply the practical skills they learned in the classroom to a physical solar installation at CTI and pass a written exam. The CSD solar interns, Bryan, and the participants worked together to install solar racking, optimizers, solar modules, and the solar inverter on the roof of a cistern.

Everyone was incredibly enthusiastic throughout the training. One participant expressed how he appreciated learning about DC electricity because his past knowledge corresponded with AC electricity. This training program sets the standard for solar installers throughout the country and these participants should now feel comfortable soliciting solar energy work. The program should increase adoption of solar energy through the islands as the solar workforce has effectively increased.

Overall, the course was a great success for everyone involved. Prior to this course the participants already had a baseline of building and electrical skills. Yet, one of the many benefits of the training program is the acquiring of new and necessary skills to safely install solar energy systems in the Bahamas. The course allows us to work towards our goal of implementing the systems that we use on campus to decrease our impact on the environment, to the wider Bahamian community.

 Bryan on the right and the participants after they completed the training program.

Bryan on the right and the participants after they completed the training program.