MREA Professional Endorsements:
Recognizing Professionals New to the Solar Industry
When hiring new employees, solar companies place high value on candidates with related education and work experience. To help new professionals gain experience and set themselves apart from other job seekers, the MREA has developed an endorsement program to recognize students that achieve minimum competency and work experience requirements. The endorsement is meant to be placed on a resume as a reference. The MREA will maintain records of all endorsed professionals and if an employer is interested, they can contact us to verify the achievement.
Requirements for earning your PV Site Assessment Endorsement
NOTE: If you have earned your MREA PV Site Assessment Certificate (retired) you have already met the requirements for the Endorsement.
PV 101 – Basic Photovoltaics
This eight-hour course teaches the basics of solar electricity. Participants will learn how photovoltaic (PV) systems work, compare and contrast different PV system types, identify necessary components and understand the best applications for (and limitations of) each system type. Other topics include evaluating the solar window, investigating energy efficiency recommendations, and researching system costs.
- There are no prerequisites for this course.
- We offer PV 101 in classroom, and online formats year-round.
- Cost $90 for MREA Members and $110 for non-members
PV 201 – PV Site Assessment
This eight-hour course demonstrates how to perform a PV site assessment for a home or small business, using the MREA PV Site Assessment Report Template.
- Price: $150 for MREA Members, $170 for non-members
- Prerequisites: Basic Photovoltaics (PV 101), or equivalent
- This course is offered online and in-person year-round
To satisfy the requirements necessary to achieve the MREA’s PV Site Assessment Endorsement, individuals must complete 100 hours of work related experience with a verified employer. A minimum of 100 hours of supervised work directly related to the following competencies:
- Perform a load analysis
- Identify and recommend steps for energy efficiency
- Analyze electricity bills
- Quantify a site’s solar resource using shade analysis and energy production tools
- Identify and recommend PV array location
- Identify and recommend balance of system location
- Recommend a PV system type and size to meet client goals
- Estimate system costs and basic cash flow analysis
- Identify applicable rebates, incentives, and taxes
- Address non-financial benefits of PV systems
- Write a professional PV site assessment report
Once the minimum of 100 hours of related work experience has been completed, please download the Employer Verification Letter, and email to Jenny Heinzen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you’ve passed PV 101, PV 202, and have completed 100 hours of work experience, you qualify to sit for the PV Site Assessment Exam.
After passing the PV Site Assessment Exam, you will receive an official “MREA PV Site Assessment Endorsement” letter.
Work Based Learning Opportunities
The MREA manages a career board, as well as paid and unpaid internship programs to connect emerging solar professionals with our growing network of solar contractors in the Midwest. View the opportunities below! To read more about work-based learning opportunities in solar, see the Solar Foundation’s Toolkit at americansolarworkforce.org.
On October 31st, 2018, the MREA officially retired our Site Assessment Certificate Program and Recognized Training Provider Program. You can read the full justification and transition plan in the Program Termination Announcement.
To make the transition to the new Endorsement program, the MREA is managing the following steps:
- We will maintain the list of MREA PV Site Assessment Certificate holders and honor the PV Site Assessment Certificate process, including the current exam and tech-mentored practice site assessment reports, for anyone that has completed the first report as of 10/31/18 and wishes to pursue the Certificate.
- For all current and future students, we will follow the requirements of the PV Site Assessment Endorsement.
- We will maintain a list of PV Site Assessment Endorsements, available for verification upon request by current and potential employers.
- We will also soon be developing Endorsements in PV Design & Sales and PV Installation, including paid and unpaid internship opportunities with a network of solar industry employers.