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Riverside Energy Systems Delivers Solar Boot Camp in Partnership with NVIT

Riverside Energy Systems is excited to announce we have expanded our services of solar PV system design and installations, to include providing solar training to support First Nations Communities. Whenever possible we integrate training with an actual installation project, allowing students to gain hands on experience. To date, our solar training clientele have been First Nations Bands in the Fraser Canyon, Thompson-Okanagan, and Cariboo-Chilcotin regions of BC, interested in capacity building for their communities.

Riverside recently completed a solar installation at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) Centre of Excellence in Sustainability (CoES),where the PV systems were specifically designed for teaching purposes. Last week we had the privilege of using the NVIT CoES PV systems for the first time to deliver a five day solar PV boot camp to members of the Upper Nicola, Lower Nicola, Coldwater, and Nooiatch bands. Training was delivered in the form of classroom lectures, and hands-on activities where students learned to use solar site assessment tools, assembled equipment, and performed electrical testing on solar panels. A wide range of topics were covered including solar photographic site evaluation, inverter technologies, net-metering in BC, solar PV module electrical characteristics, installation practices, and solar racking systems. NVIT’s CoES solar PV Teaching Roof installation proved to be an invaluable teaching resource. Students were able to view data collected by the system over its lifetime and observe the effects of shading, differing panel orientations, and weather on energy production during course computer lab exercises.

A highlight for Riverside Energy Systems was the receptiveness of the students, and the interest expressed in further, more in depth training. The hands-on portion of the course was especially well received, with one student writing that their favourite part of the lab work was “that it was hands on, and we actually worked with real tools and systems”. Another student expressed appreciation for how the course was laid out, saying that it was “taught in a way that is easier to retain—[a combination of] hands-on, theory, and demonstration”.

If you have plans for a new solar installation, and are interested in integrating training into your project, contact Riverside Energy Systems to learn more about our First Nations solar training offerings.

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