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Project Name: Solar Ready Wisconsin
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Subprogram: Soft Costs
Location: Custer, Wisconsin
DOE Award Amount: $800,000
Awardee Cost Share: N/A
Planned Timeline: 2019-2022

-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --

This project team will create an initiative to further develop Wisconsin’s solar workforce capacity and replicate successes to surrounding states. The goal is to foster collaboration among technical college training programs and increase opportunities for students in photovoltaic (PV) design and installation degree and certificate programs to gain work experience. The team will collaborate with industry stakeholders and jurisdictions to facilitate advanced installation training and entry-level internships that will advance projects on local municipal and nonprofit facilities.

APPROACH

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) will lead the Wisconsin Solar Corps program to engage instructors and students from Wisconsin’s leading technical college training programs. The MREA will work with the colleges to develop student work experience opportunities and have students help develop and install major PV projects. The technical colleges will provide advanced installation trainings for credit, and high-performing students will obtain internships with PV contractors. Students who complete the advanced installation courses and internships will earn recognition through the MREA Professional Endorsement Program.

INNOVATION

The Solar Ready Wisconsin initiative will offer a shared advanced installation curriculum in the MREA’s accredited PV training program, get students working on major local solar projects, and facilitate internships to improve solar workforce readiness. Successful results in Wisconsin will lead to MREA partnerships with technical and community colleges in Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota.