The Solar Ready Vets Network is a group of solar workforce development programs funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) that connect veterans and transitioning military service members with career training, professional development, and employment opportunities in the solar industry. The Network builds upon DOE’s Solar Ready Vets® pilot program that launched in 2014, and it includes three new initiatives:
Solar Ready Vets Fellowship Program: This program places active-duty military service members in 12-week work-based learning programs with solar employers to help them transition to civilian careers. These service members come from military bases in parts of the country where solar workers are in high demand. This fellowship program focuses on management and professional positions, such as technical sales, system design, supply chain logistics, project development, operations, and installation. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) leads this program in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s “Hiring Our Heroes” program and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Solar Opportunities and Readiness (SOAR) Initiative: The SOAR Initiative connects veterans with solar training, credentialing, professional development, and employment opportunities. The goals are to establish an apprenticeship recognized by the Department of Labor, expand the eligibility of solar training for GI Bill benefits, and define expedited pathways to solar certifications based on military experience and qualifications. IREC leads this program in partnership with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and SEIA.
Cyberguardians and STEM Warriors: This project, led by the SunSpec Alliance, provides training for veterans in cybersecurity and information technology. Methods and resources include online modules, accredited curricula, and hybrid training programs in designing systems for distributed energy resources, as well as grid operations, data analytics, cybersecurity, and investment decision support.
How to Get Involved
I am a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
You are a candidate for the SOAR Initiative or the Cyberguardians and STEM Warriors program. To get involved, visit The IREC’s Solar Ready Vets Network webpage, scroll down and click on “Veterans and Service Members,” fill out the online form, and designate yourself as a veteran.
I am an active-duty service member.
You are a candidate for the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship Program. Visit IREC's Solar Ready Vets Network webpage, scroll down and click on “Veterans and Service Members,” fill out the online form, and designate yourself as an active-duty service member.
I am a solar industry employer.
Visit IREC's Solar Ready Vets Network webpage, scroll down and click on “Solar Industry Employers,” fill out the online form, and designate yourself as a solar industry employer.
I am a NABCEP-recognized solar training provider.
Visit IREC's Solar Ready Vets Network webpage, scroll down and click on “Workforce Partners,” fill out the online form, and designate yourself as a NABCEP-recognized solar training provider.
History of the Solar Ready Vets Network
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy launched Solar Ready Vets as a pilot program, led by the Solar Foundation (merging with IREC in 2021), to prepare U.S. veterans for careers as photovoltaic system installers, sales representatives, system inspectors, and other roles in the solar industry. In 2017, Solar Ready Vets became an independent program administered by participating military bases, using tools and partnerships developed during the pilot phase. More than 500 students graduated from the pilot program. Learn more about the original Solar Ready Vets program.