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IBEW Local 213, Vancouver, British Columbia, union hall features an IBEW-installed solar photovoltaics array.

Part 2:  Solar PV an Important Source of Jobs

June 2001 IBEW Journal

It is becoming more and more feasible to install these solar systems on homes and commercial buildings, said Local 332 Business Manager Terry D. Tanner. We need to make sure IBEW members are the ones doing this work.

The IBEW recognizes the vital role of solar PV technology and the important source of jobs it increasingly will become. Accordingly, the IBEW and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) have developed and are providing specialized PV training programs through the NJATC. Hundreds of IBEW members already have completed a JATC solar training certification program.

The IBEW believes that the field of solar photovoltaic energy, already one in which members have worked, will be the source of job growth in the future, the IBEW Journal reported in June 1998 [See Imagine the Future, p. 8-11]. Photovoltaic installations not only energize the electrical industry, but also provide employment for qualified, certified union construction electricians across the United States and Canada.

Photovoltaics should be installed and maintained by the most qualified electrical workers who can demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skills, said NJATC Executive Director A. J. Pearson. It is important to establish a nationally standardized means of certification for those who have completed accredited programs.

The IBEW, NECA and NJATC, along with major solar advocacy groups and solar product manufacturers, have formed an alliance of organizations to promote solar PV constructionthe National Photovoltaic Construction Standards & Certification Partnership (NPCSCP).

Solar photovoltaic technology represents a huge door openingand the work of solar is electrical work, said NPCSCP International Executive Director George Ingham, a former member of Local 213, Vancouver, who is now an electrical contractor and owner of United Power, Ltd. based in British Columbia. Solar just keeps on comingand all photovoltaic work is electrical, Ingham added. It produces electrical energy. It is in the U.S. National Electrical Code. BIPV solar walls, windows, awnings and roofs are now electrical generating devices subject to the National Electrical Code for personal and property safety.

[ To Part 3 ]