Project Name: Integration of Solar Training into Allied Industry Professional Development Platforms
Funding Opportunity: Solar Training and Education for Professionals (STEP)
SunShot Subprogram: Soft Costs
Location: Albany, NY
SunShot Award Amount: $2,200,000
Awardee Cost Share: $0

This project creates an engagement strategy to facilitate the integration of state-of-the art solar training into existing professional development platforms for firefighters and fire code officials. This includes using integrated technology solutions, such as online 3D interactive simulations and mobile tools and resources. Through this training and professional development platform, IREC hopes to train more than 10,000 firefighters and fire code officials by the end of this project, who will be able to communicate the information to another 90,000 people.

The STEP funding program was announced in May 2016. Read the announcement.


The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has assembled a team of partners in related industries dedicated to enabling the growth of the solar industry through the widespread dissemination of accurate and targeted resources and training. They will reach their goal through a combination of a train-the-trainer model and webinars with partner organizations. The project will be driven by these partners and will be designed to meet their unique needs and delivery mechanisms, while taking advantage of IREC’s expertise in adult learning methodologies and workforce training measurement and evaluation. IREC also plans to develop solar safety checklists for fire safety personnel that can be widely disseminated, among other tools and resources.


Solar energy customers rely on an ecosystem of professionals to get their solar arrays connected to the grid. That includes code officials and local building inspectors that must determine if a building’s solar array is in compliance with local building codes. An efficient, well-trained workforce familiar with solar will improve inspection compliance, expedite system permitting, and reduce liability and insurance costs. This will increase the number of Americans who can afford to access solar energy and create a value chain that gives consumers confidence in the safety and results of solar installations.

See the online course for Solar PV Safety for Firefighters.