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FSU Helping the Nationwide Growth of Green Workforce Through Wind and Solar Energy Certified Education Program
02/24/2011

FSU Helping the Nationwide Growth of Green Workforce Through Wind and Solar Energy Certified Education Program
Previous WISE workshop students install a PV system.
Interested in boosting your job skills and knowledge of renewable energy and learning more about the green economy? Frostburg State University will be offering the WISE (Wind and Solar Energy) Education Program on design, installation and maintenance of residential wind and solar (PV) electric generation systems. The program includes an online component (March 21 through May 12) as well as hands-on training (May 13 through May 15) to prepare the attendees for the certification test administered by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, Inc. The hands-on part of the program will be held in FSU’s Compton Science Center.

Participants will learn the basics of PV/wind systems, resource assessment, setup configuration and regulations related to PV and wind generation system installations. Attendees are also given information about codes, regulations, standards and financial incentives regarding renewable energy systems. The FSU engineering labs and WISE system on campus will be available for practical experiments and demonstrations.

Through the eight-week self-guided online instruction, attendees learn basic technology, design methods, codes and safety requirements. The online modules can be accessed throughout the program to allow participants to work at their own pace.

The on-site workshop offers an intensive introduction to the practice of installing wind and solar energy systems. Participants install a small grid-connected PV system and attend labs where they learn the fundamentals of wind generation systems.

FSU will accept applications through March 13. Space is limited and enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. The only requirement is a high school diploma.

The program, which was first offered at FSU in 2007, has grown in popularity over the years, and was initially designed to serve the community by providing the education needed for healthy growth of local business in renewable energy. It has grown very quickly to be a national model attracting participants from all over the country. The previous six sessions of the program attracted more than 200 participants who came from 17 states and three overseas countries. Maryland has sent just over half the participants.

“We have a very diverse group, which makes the class more interesting,” said Hilkat Soysal, the program director and one of the program’s founders. “We have an audience with a broad range of knowledge background and career goals.”

Most participants come into the program hoping to enter into the energy field and others want to use residential installation as a way to enhance their current position. While many of the participants are contractors, the program attracts other occupations as well. Entrepreneurs interested in starting small businesses in the renewable energy field, homeowners who wish to generate their own electricity and non-technical professionals such as real estate agents, lawyers, financial consultants and teachers have attended the previous sessions, recognizing that knowledge of residential power systems would be valuable in their careers.

For more information about the program, visit www.frostburg.edu/renewable or contact Hilkat Soysal at 301-687-3166 or renewable@frostburg.edu.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions and two regional higher education centers within the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258. -end-

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
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Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu