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Local Solar Installers Earn Industry’s Most Prestigious Certification

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Jeffrey Stevens, assistant professor, and Sean Kelley, adjunct instructor, Electrical Trades Department, Alfred State College, recently earned the industry’s leading recognition of expertise as a certified installer of solar electric systems (aka “photovoltaic” or “PV” systems) from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

NABCEP is the most respected and well‐established national certification organization for renewable energy professionals. Designation as a NABCEP-certified solar PV installer is widely recognized to be the most important and meaningful certification of its kind in the renewable energy industry.

“Receiving NABCEP’s certified installer status is personally very satisfying,” said Stevens. “More important, it means we can offer our students the added confidence of knowing that the information we are presenting is current and up to the highest standards in the industry.”

To earn NABCEP certification, Stevens and Kelley were required to demonstrate competence as solar PV installers by passing a rigorous exam that covers the multi-craft aspects of being a professional PV installer. They demonstrated knowledge on subjects as diverse as system design, electrical and job safety, the National Electrical Code, roofing and construction techniques, system commissioning, and troubleshooting. In addition to passing the exam, all certified NABCEP installers are required to show that they have real-world experience as a senior person on the installation crew as well as a minimum number of hours of advanced training.

“One thing you can be assured of with NABCEP certified installers is that your job won’t be their first,” said Ezra Auerbach, executive director of NABCEP. “Anyone who makes the considerable effort required to earn NABCEP Installer Certification has been required to document their experience and education as part of the eligibility process. They have also made a very real commitment to upholding high standards of ethical and professional practice. We are delighted to welcome Jeff and Sean to these lofty ranks.”

Stevens, a member of the Alfred State College faculty since 2002, lectures on electrical theory and national electrical code understanding and interpretation, as well as photovoltaic design and installation. His goal is to help develop and implement a curriculum and training facility that focuses on the training and accreditation of men and women to meet the industry guidelines for the installation of PV systems in the Northeast. He has attended numerous PV programs and trainings and is a member of focus groups working to meet that goal.

Stevens, a licensed master electrician and contractor, maintains a small electrical contracting business.

Additionally, Stevens has obtained his pre-certification as a certified photovoltaic installer, continues studies with associated National Electrical Codes and Photovoltaic installations, and is currently working with other faculty to build a green home laboratory addition to the facility at Alfred State’s School of Applied Technology campus to accommodate the demand for training and showcase the craftsmanship of the students and the renewable technologies currently being taught throughout the programs.

Stevens holds two associate of occupational studies degrees from Alfred State College: construction and maintenance electrician and plumbing, heating, and air conditioning, ’91 and ’93, respectively.

He is a member of the Allegany County Gideons International and manages ministries and mission trips for Global Community Outreach.

Kelley, a 2010 graduate of Alfred State’s electrical construction and maintenance electrician program, joined the faculty in January. He is the owner of Allegany Renewable Technologies, a small-business in the renewable energy sector.

Alfred State, a college of technology within the SUNY system, offers outstanding educational opportunities in its 19 bachelor degree and 52 associate degree program options. ASC is particularly known for its learning-by-doing philosophy and hands-on education. Of course, the College’s technology-rich programs also teach students the critical thinking skills that help them succeed throughout their lives.

Because Alfred State possesses a strong sense of community, ASC students typically feel right at home within a few days of their arrival. Additionally, students can choose to participate in more than 90 clubs and organizations as well as intercollegiate sports and intramurals.

Alfred State is located in the beautiful Southern Tier of New York state: 15 miles north of the Pennsylvania border, 70 miles south of Rochester, and 90 miles southeast of Buffalo.

For additional information: call 1-800-4-ALFRED.

About NABCEP

NABCEP is a non-profit organization governed by a board of directors consisting of volunteer representatives of the solar industry, NABCEP certificants, renewable energy organizations, state policy makers, educational institutions, and the trades. NABCEP’s mission is to develop and implement quality credentialing and certification programs for practitioners by supporting and working closely with professionals and stakeholders in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. To learn more visit www.nabcep.org.