NEXTracker, a Flex company, announced it has successfully trained 500 graduates from its global tracker installation program, PowerworX Academy. The program was launched in 2015 to help meet the workforce development needs of utility-scale solar growth markets worldwide.
Participants from Egypt, United States, Australia, Mexico, India, and Brazil have gained in-depth, hands-on training for the design and installation of NEXTracker’s industry-leading smart solar tracker, NX Horizon. Given the popularity of this course, the Company has expanded this course to include commissioning, and operation and maintenance (O&M) best practices for its tracker and energy storage product lines.
“Providing our customers and partners superior support, products and installation expertise is woven into the fabric of our Global Services program,” said Martin Rogers, vice president of asset management at NEXTracker, “By continuing to develop the curriculum for commissioning, software support and O&M training, PowerworX Academy now develops skills applicable across a power plant’s lifecycle, from construction well into its 30 year operational life.”
The continued growth of the solar market demands an educated solar installation and service workforce. As the energy economy transforms into the renewable economy, information on skills, training and education is crucial in helping decision makers design policies to support renewable energy labor markets.
“The most visionary solar firms have realized the importance of quickly and effectively training up new staff as well as the management levels that oversee them,” notes the African Management Initiative (AMI), a company that helps support and train the growing solar energy workforce through their unique learning and development platform. “By building a culture of learning and excellence across teams, it urgently supports their current operations but also prepares them for future growth.”
According to the IRENA Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review 2017, the global renewable energy sector employed 9.8 million people in 2016 – a 1.1% increase over 2015. Jobs in renewables, excluding large hydropower, increased by 2.8%, reaching 8.3 million in 2016. The most consistent increase has come from jobs in the solar PV and wind categories, together more than doubling since 2012. With such significant growth at play, there must be training programs in place as new employees are brought into the workforce.
High growth solar market regions like China, Brazil, the United States, India, Japan and Germany accounted for most of the renewable energy jobs highlighted in the IRENA report.
NEXTracker’s PowerworX Academy consists of three day-long sessions focusing on tracker installation, commissioning, and O&M hands-on and in-classroom training. Any graduate of the program will receive 20 professional development credits from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), the leading electrical certification board in the United States. The Company is also adding its energy storage solutions, known as NX Flow and NX Drive, to its curriculum, reflecting NEXTracker’s latest product lines in energy storage systems.
To attend PowerworX Academy, register for an upcoming session here.
News item from NEXTracker