OutBack Power has partnered with Baltimore nonprofit Power52 to reduce unemployment and underemployment around the city through solar trainings. OutBack Power Technologies, an EnerSys company, recently donated one of its FLEXpower ONE FXR integrated systems to Power52 Energy Institute’s Solar Installation Training program. OutBack Power is the first company to donate equipment to the program, which consists of a fully pre-wired single inverter system with a convenient and compact design and is valued at over $5,000.
“Our fundamental goal is to empower communities to build their own hope-filled future, and we are fortunate to partner with companies like OutBack Power to advance our mission,” said Cherie Brooks, President & CEO of Power52 Foundation. “We believe this equipment will help improve our program and allow students to get first-hand experience of installing field equipment that allows trainees to be better prepared and more successful when they become employed.”
Founded by Ray Lewis, Cherie Brooks and Rob Wallace, the Power52 Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation dedicated to training and employing at-risk individuals in the clean energy industry. Its Solar Installation Training program has an employment placement rate of 90%, with the average starting hourly wage of $18.50 and 75% employment retention at the six-month mark. The program has seen less than 10% recidivate at any time during the follow-up period of graduates placed in positions. The 11-week training program is held three times a year for a maximum of 75 students. To date, they have conducted 14 cohorts for 186 participants in the Baltimore Metropolitan region.
“As the solar industry continues to grow in the U.S., the need for professionally trained installers is also increasing,” said Paul Dailey, Director of Product & Market Strategy for OutBack Power. “We are glad to be a part of this initiative to help support our industry that ultimately gives people more energy independence.”
Power52’s Energy Professional Training program is accredited by the National Center for Construction, Education & Research (NCCER). Each course provides 320 clock-hours of training, which includes classroom instruction, OSHA training, lab instruction and job readiness. The standardized curriculum covers the basic concepts of solar PV systems and their components, as well as how to size, design, and install the systems.
The curriculum will also now utilize OutBack’s pre-assembled and pre-wired FLEXpower ONE FXR integrated system with FXR or VFXR Series inverter/chargers. The system is programmable for seven different modes including GridZero, which blends utility power and stored renewable energy and minimizing grid dependence. The FLEXpower ONE FXR integrated system is ideal for residential and commercial applications including cabins, vacation homes, farm buildings, remote communications sites, and back-up power systems, with all necessary components integrated into a compact hang-on-the-wall system with a minimal footprint.
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