ESF Outreach


ESF Outreach
221 Marshall Hall SUNY-ESF 1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210
United States

43.0344612, -76.1369148

Business Type Solar Training and Schools
Types of Energy Solar Electric PV
Market Residential Properties

Our 4-day Basic Photovoltaic Installer Course is board-recognized by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). In this course participants will learn the basics of how to site, design, and install photovoltaic (PV) systems. The course includes sizing systems for both grid-connected and off-grid PV systems. Also, the solar resources and the problems associated with shading, orientation and tilt will be reviewed. Basic sizing and system design in relation to electrical load will be discussed. Safety practices for installers and the study of the electrical code for PV systems will be covered in some detail. Participants will learn about various mounting systems for PV arrays and how they affect roofs. As part of the class, participants will build a working PV system.

In this class, participants will cover the issues associated with larger commercial PV installations which typically have three-phase electrical systems. Weight and wind loading play a major part in the design of large commercial installations, as most commercial buildings have expansive, flat roofs. The class will also look at issues for large, ground-mounted systems and review interconnection issues such as the necessary size of the local service, when a new transformer would be needed, when an entire substation would be needed and when the local utility might need the plant to provide reactive power (VAR support). The economics of these larger systems will also be reviewed. NABCEP requires that a "minimum of 40 of the 58 prescribed hours for certification must cover advanced solar PV installation and design principles and practices addressed in the NABCEP PV Installer Job Task Analysis". This class meets section 3.5.C.III as it is taught by an ISPQ certified instructor.

As a registered NABCEP Entry Level Exam Provider, participants who take a SPARE class offered through SUNY-ESF are eligible to sit for the Entry Level Exam. This exam will help them prepare for the Certification exam. The combination of taking the Basic SPARE Class and receiving a passing score on the Entry Level Exam will garner you 18 training hours to apply towards final certification. In New York State, NYSERDA requires all solar installers who want to offer state incentives to their customers to be NABCEP certified. Certification requires taking an exam along with classroom training and roof time. Interested students should confirm all information regarding Certification with

In simple terms this test is like taking the PSAT before the SAT. You find out what you know and don't know before taking the actual certification exam. Students must sign up for this exam through their eligible provider, for students who sign up for classes with ESF that is us.

SUNY-ESF will be offering the Computer Based Testing (CBT) option. Participants can register and pay at any time. Once verified as completing a SPARE class, they will be processed to take the CBT test. Students have 6 months from the time of verification to set up their exam