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Renewable energy courses at the MREA are based on industry-approved task analyses, and are designed to satisfy knowledge and skill competencies set forth by professional credentialing agencies like NABCEP.
Credentialing programs that MREA courses satisfy include:
- MREA Site Assessment Certificate Program
- MREA PV Design and Sales Certificate Program
- NABCEP PV Associate
- NABCEP PV Installation Professional Certification
- NABCEP PV Technical Sales Certification
- NABCEP Solar Heating Installer Certification
- NABCEP Recertification - Continuing Education Credits
MREA Site Assessment Certificate Program
The MREA offers Site Assessment Certificates for Photovoltaic (PV), Solar Thermal, and Small Wind energy systems. Our curriculum is aligned with industry standards and is accredited by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).
In 2012, the MREA launched the Site Assessment Certificate Program, marking an end to the Certified Site Assessor program.
The MREA Site Assessment Certificate provides a framework for the workforce and skills training needed by the growing body of professionals engaging consumers in the development of solar energy systems for homes and businesses. Site assessors evaluate the energy consumption of a household or business, as well as the solar or wind resource at the location. They help clients understand system options, limitations, costs, and benefits. They also recommend a potential site and size of a solar or wind system, estimate production, and identify available incentives and financing options.
Why pursue a Site Assessment Certificate?
The MREA Site Assessment Certificate is an entry-level credential. The certificate verifies that the credential-holder has successfully completed the required MREA coursework, completed two practice site assessment reports (reviewed and approved by a Tech Mentor), and passed the exam.
The MREA Site Assessment Certificate is a valuable credential that:
- Establishes entry-level competency that is valuable to employers in the renewable energy field
- Serves as an add-on certificate to other licenses or credentials in the green jobs industry, including: system design, construction, installation, sales, finance, research, and policy
- Benchmarks training and experience required for the MREA PV Design and Sales Certificate and the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Certification
The first step to earning an MREA Site Assessment Certificate is to enroll in the introductory (101) course of your chosen renewable energy technology (photovoltaics, solar thermal, or small wind). After successful completion of the 101 course (PV 101, ST 101, or W 101), you may enroll in the Site Assessment (201) course of the same technology (PV 201, ST 201, or W 201). Successful completion of the 201 (site assessment) course automatically enrolls you in our Site Assessment Certificate Program.
If you choose to pursue your MREA Site Assessment Certificate, you have one full year (after graduating from the 201 course) to complete two practice site assessment reports. When you submit your first practice site assessment report, you will be assigned a Tech Mentor who reviews your reports, provides timely feedback, and gives final approval once they are deemed satisfactory.
After both practice reports are approved by a Tech Mentor, you are eligible to take the Site Assessment Exam. The exam fee is $75, and a formal application is required. Upon passing the exam, you will be asked to sign a Code of Ethics, and then you will be issued your MREA Site Assessment Certificate. This allows you to upload your personal and/or business information to the Renewable Energy Site Assessor Directory (if desired), so those looking for a Site Assessor can find you.
For more information, visit the MREA Certificate Program website.
To see when these courses are offered, visit our Course Schedule.
MREA PV Design and Sales Certificate
Much like the MREA Site Assessment Certificate Program, PV Design and Sales Certificate participants are required to successfully complete a series of MREA courses, work with a Tech Mentor on a practice site assessment report and a practice design and sales proposal, and pass an exam. Coursework includes:
- Basic Photovoltaics (PV 101)
- PV Site Assessor Training (PV 201)
- PV System Design (PV 202)
- PV Sales and Finance (PV 203)
After successful completion of all four MREA PV courses, participants must complete one practice site assessment and one practice design and sales proposal. These reports will be reviewed by an assigned Tech Mentor. Once approved, the $75 exam becomes available.
More information will be posted as we continue to develop this exciting new MREA Certificate Program.
North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)
The MREA aligns as much of its curriculum as possible with the Learning Objectives and Task Analyses set forth by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). NABCEP offers certification for PV Installation Professionals and Solar Heating Installers, and in PV Technical Sales. Additionally, although the certification exam is no longer available, NABCEP still recognizes and requires continuing education for Small Wind Installers.
These certifications should not be confused with NABCEP's Associate Program. The NABCEP Associate Program is for individuals who want to enter the renewable energy field. Passing the NABCEP PV Associate, Solar Heating Associate, or Small Wind Associate Exam demonstrates the basic understanding of the principles outlined in the Learning Objectives.
The MREA is a Registered NABCEP Associate Provider for PV, as well as a NABCEP Continuing Education Provider.
For more information regarding NABCEP and how it relates to MREA courses and certificates, visit our NABCEP page.
For more general information about the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, visit www.nabcep.org.
NABCEP Certification exams are offered every spring and fall and vary in location. Dates are posted on the NABCEP calendar, and applications are due approximately two months in advance of the exam date.
You can take the NABCEP PV Associate Exam through the MREA, if you have successfully completed Basic PV (PV 101), PV Site Assessor Training (PV 201), and PV System Design (PV 202). The paper exam is available in Custer (WI) or at an approved MREA test site. There is also the option to take the exam online. See our NABCEP page for more information and registration links.