On 27th March this year Dr. Wayne E. Archibald, Executive Director, Green Solutions International SKN Incorporated (GSI), signed an exclusive international partnership agreement with Shawn O’Brien, President and CEO of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners® (NABCEP®) to establish NABCEP Caribbean, the first regional hub for solar energy training and development throughout the Caribbean region as well as the US Virgin Islands.
NABCEP credentials are a voluntary certification that provides a set of national standards by which photovoltaic (PV) professionals with skills and experience can distinguish themselves from the competition. Certification gives a measure of protection to the consumer by furnishing them with a credential against which they can assess the competency of PV practitioners.
GSI will serve as NABCEP’s regional partner for the solar energy industry in the Caribbean. Increased access to NABCEP’s PV training programmes and certification will enhance PV human resource capacities and build consumer confidence, leading to greater investment in the industry. NABCEP’s PV Installation Professional (PVIP®) Certification is accredited to the internationally recognised ISO/IEC 17024 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
At the signing, Dr. Archibald stated, “I am pleased to sign this new agreement with our valued partner, NABCEP, to strengthen our capacity-building and workforce development programmes in the region. This agreement represents a significant milestone that will raise the standard for solar installations and maintenance, and increase employability opportunities for talented, qualified Caribbean nationals in one of the fastest growing industries, regionally and worldwide.”
NABCEP Board certifications can positively impact PV technicians’ careers through improved marketability, validation of knowledge, and enhanced reputation and credibility. GSI will work closely with the private and public sectors to establish partnerships with Caribbean colleges, universities, and government institutions to integrate the NABCEP concept into regional renewable energy programmes.
Recently, GSI was contracted by the Caribbean Development Bank to spearhead the “OECS Photovoltaic Training and Certification Programme” in PV installation and inspection for 250 persons from Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This was the most significant PV training and certification programme held in the Caribbean to date.
In 2021, UNDP Guyana also contracted GSI to deliver the NABCEP Solar Photovoltaic Training and Certification for the Solar PV Associate Course and the System Inspector Certification Course for 25 persons. GSI was tasked with developing a curriculum for Solar PV Installation, Maintenance and Repairs using the Power Generation Stand-by Level 1 and/or Power Line Construction and Maintenance Distribution Level 1 standards under the “Mainstreaming Low Emission Energy Technologies to Build Guyana’s Green Economy” project.
Last year, GSI, in partnership with the Cadmus Group LLC, a global climate and energy consulting firm in the USA, and The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica, coordinated the Workforce Development and Training programme for “Strengthening Energy Sector Resilience in Jamaica.” This is a US$4 million, three-year project led by USAID/Jamaica and the Jamaica Energy Resilience Alliance (JERA).
Building on these successes and now with more than 750 persons trained across the region, the establishment of NABCEP Caribbean will further increase demand for internationally certified solar energy qualifications. “We are excited to partner with GSI in supporting renewable energy education in the Caribbean,” said Shawn O’Brien, NABCEP’s President and CEO. “With year-round sunshine, motivated learners and quality training, the Caribbean has all the right ingredients to produce the energised workforce needed in the region. The NABCEP Caribbean Program solidifies our combined commitment to the industry and the ongoing and mutually beneficial relationships that will lead us into the next generation of solar empowerment.”
Adding her support to the launch of this initiative, Judith Ephraim, Programme Director – Sustainable Energy, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, commented, “We’re seeing a trend towards low or zero-carbon sources of energy, as well as distributed generation and autonomy in energy production in the Caribbean. Organisations like GSI are paving the way in supporting a cadre of homegrown energy professionals that will take the region forward in meeting its energy and sustainable development goals.”
GSI is a non-governmental organisation and a premier provider of green energy solutions across the Caribbean. Its mission is to help the region become 100% sustainable through innovation, education, workforce training, and clean energy development. Its highly experienced team serves as an intellectual hub for learning, networking, and innovation across the region in all areas of green technology.
To sign up for NABCEP programmes in the Caribbean, visit www.greensolutionsskn.com; email [email protected]; or call (+1 876) 559 2515.