The Kentucky Solar Energy Society

Kentucky Solar Energy Society

Education Resources


KY Department of Energy Development and Independence's Solar Page. The Solar Energy Story Map takes a visitor around the state virtually to view different types of solar energy projects across different locations and applications. 

Going Green is a WKYU-PBS Main Streets segment on three solar installations in Kentucky.

"The Kentucky Solar Energy Guide" by Andy McDonald and Joshua Bills - Text on solar in Kentucky by very knowledgeable authors.  Out of print, and not so easy to find anymore.

Kentucky Solar Partnership's Primer on Solar Hot Water, including best practices.


Introduction to Renewable Energy - Free online course offered by Solar Energy International (SEI) in English and Spanish.  Participants receive a Certificate of Completion upon successful completion.

Solar Retrofits for Weatherization and Remodel - Free online course offered by the State of Pennsylvania.  Covers necessary basics of siting and sizing, installation, hot water and PV.

Primers on Solar PV and Wind - Free (with $20 membership) webinars from Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), an excellent organization located just east of Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  Membership includes admission to the annual MREA Energy Fair held the 3rd weekend in June.


Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) - Located in central Wisconsin.  Offers high quality training in solar PV, solar thermal and wind.  Most classes in Wisconsin.  Lots of opportunity for hands-on advanced courses.

Solar Energy International - Colorado-based organization offering high-quality live as well as online training in solar PV, solar thermal, wind and micro-hydro.  Live locations / trainings vary and are often interesting.

SolarPro Listings - SolarPro magazine keeps an updated ever-changing list of the many various training opportunities occuring in the near future across the nation, at any given time.   You can check the SolarPro website and can also sign up for a free subscription to theonline magazine, as well as e-mail updates. 


Home Power Magazine - Invaluable resource.  Tons and tons of good info on PV and thermal systems.  Whatever your question, it's probably been addressed in Home Power.  A subscription allows you to access its full archives for the last 27 years. Lots of free articles on basics available without a subscription.  Check it out. 

Best Practices in PV Installations - Comprehensive document for solar installers and consumers working with installers.

Solar Electric Handbook: Photovoltaic Fundamentals and Applications  (textbook with  interactive eBook) - published by Solar Energy International.

"Solar Water Heating" by Bob Ramlow and Benjamin Nusz - Good book on how to do solar thermal systems for residential hot water and / or space heating.

Caleffi Hydronic Solutions articles - Caleffi is an international plumbing and hydronics materials supplier with its US base in Milwaukee, WI.  Caleffi has prepared a number of detailed publications on the design and performance of solar thermal systems.  Caleffi offers them for free. Check the "Technical Library" button  

Additional Information on Public Education


-          Founded by Don and Dan Adams, is a free social site for sustainable living where people can connect, share information and trade items.

-          See the article in Sept. 2015 for more information on the future expansion of Earthineer to Louisville:

-          See the article in Entrepreneur magazine highlighting Earthineer as one of 7 important startups:

-          Don and Dan Adams have been hosting DIY solar workshops in the northern KY area and providing public education and solar awareness for several years.  Attendance numbers are very high as shown in this video from a session in 2012

The Blue Rock Station

The Blue Rock Station offers courses and tours on solar installations, sustainable living and more.

The Kentucky Solar Energy Guide

This 100+ page publication was published online in 2006 by Josh Bills and Andrew McDonald.  Although this publication is dated, it is still useful as a primer. This was published by Appalachia - Science in the Public Interest.

NARC – National Association of Regional Councils

-          NARC is an advocacy group providing support and resources for regional organizations. 

-          NARC is part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs) which works to increase the use and integration of solar energy technologies in regions and communities across the country. Solar OPs supports local governments and regional organizations committed to making solar a mainstream energy source. Through this partnership, NARC and other partners are providing outreach, technical analysis, and assistance to expand local and regional governments’ innovative efforts to accelerate local adoption of solar energy in their facilities and community-wide.

-          The NARC’s SolarOPs page posts toolkits for making the case for solar as well as many solar education presentations that can be reused. 

-          The SolarOPs page shows that there was a solar presentation in Kentucky in 2014 delivered in March 2014in Owensboro, KY.  The presenters were Jim Kennery of the North Carolina Solar Center and Philip Haddix of the Solar Foundation.

-          NARC’s Solar Ready II project  uses the broad impact and influence of ten regional councils to provide direct assistance to local governments, helping them implement best management practices (BMPs) to reduce soft costs and measurably improve solar market conditions.  There is a regional effort underway in the Greater Cincinnati area, including northern Kentucky.

USGBC - U.S. Green Building Council

See below.

ASPI – Appalachia - Science in the Public Interest

See below

Midwest Renewable Energy Association

See below

Solar Energy International

See below

Additional Information on Solar Professionals Training and Certification

Kentucky Electrical License

-   Required certification for an installation in Kentucky

NABCEP Photovoltaic Installer Certification

-   NABCEP is the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners,

-   NABCEP provides industry standard certifications for solar installers with the goal of providing a certification program of quality and integrity for the professionals and the consumers/public it is designed to serve

-   Recent pressure has caused NABCEP to ease certification standards somewhat

-    Kentucky certified solar installers are listed at

-  Entry Level Certification and Exam

   o   Local installers indicate they require at least the Entry Level certification for new employees as described here

   o   NABCEP website provides list of certified trainers for Entry Level certification at

   o   As of 11/30/15, NABCEP lists two certified trainers located in Kentucky, one in Madisonville and one in Florence.  Both are taught in the classroom (as opposed to online). 

   o   As of 11/30/15, NABCEP lists 12 online training providers

   o   Completing a certified training program is required prior to an individual sitting for the Entry Level Exam

-    PV Installation Professional Certification

   o   The NABCEP PV Installation Professional certification is a voluntary certification that provides a set of national standards by which PV Installation Professionals with skills and experience can distinguish themselves from their competition.

   o   Certification provides a measure of protection to the public by giving them a credential for judging the competency of practitioners.

   o   Candidates must have experience in the field acting as the person responsible for installing PV systems, a minimum of 58 hours of advanced PV training and an OSHA 10 hour construction industry card or equivalent

   o   Advanced PV training must be provided by one of 5 providers as listed at

   o   Candidates must also provide documentation for three (3) or five (5) installations where they have acted in the role of contractor, lead installer, foreman, supervisor, or journeyman

-    Recertification

   o   NABCEP recommends recertification for all certified solar installers

   o   To maintain certification, certificants must obtain 18 contact hours of continuing education (CE) in certain solar and business-related areas within three years of initial certification with more details found at

   o   NABCEP provides several continuing education options which qualify for recertification at

NABCEP Solar Heating Certification

-    NABCEP provides similar certification and training for solar heating installers and professionals.  See the NABCEP website for details at

Electronics Technicians Association, International

-   ETA supports a variety of technical fields including smart homes and renewable energy by providing third-party assessments through it’s own certification programs. 

-     ETA provides a list of training programs that are approved to enable the trainee to pass the ETA exam

-    The ETA exam is the Photovoltaic Installer - Level 1 certification exam

-    Green Energy Ohio sponsored an ETA approved training program in 2013 and 2014  Both were advertised on the KySES Events page:  and

Green Energy Ohio

-    GEO provides a set of training resources on their website, including colleges and universities in Ohio that offer courses and degrees in renewable energy fields

-    The GEO website  shows a list of webinar based training and national organizations that offer training.

Solar Energy International

SEI is a nonprofit educational organization providing industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy.  SEI provides a wide variety of training including NABCEP certification, program tracks for solar managers,in both in class an online formats.

Midwest Renewable Energy Association

-MREA promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration.  MREA has extensive training for a variety of participants: homeowners, solar installers, solar designers, entrepreneurs, licensed professionals, and renewable energy advocates.  They also offer NABCEP certification courses and a professional 44 page catalog of courses available for 2016 MREA Online Tutorials.

Solairgen – School of Solar Technology

Solairgen is a business providing training for solar installers.  They are an IREC Interstate Renewable Energy Council accredited training firm.  IREC is the leading credentialing body for program accreditation and instructor certification in the renewable energy industry.  Solairgen offers a variety of training programs for solar professionals, including courses that allow the trainee to sit for the NABSEP certification

KCTCS Kentucky Community and Technical College System

Shows on their website an offering for “Solar Power Install Training” but there is no additional information available.

MACED – Mountain Association for Community Economic Development Kentucky Solar Partnership

MACED offered solar installer training but at this time, this program is no longer active.

ASPI – Appalachia Science in the Public Interest

Website indicates latest updates were in 2013. ASPI was part of the Kentucky Solar Partnership.  ASPI offered professional contractor training on solar installations, public workshops, solar demonstrations, etc.

USGBC - U.S. Green Building Council

Offers a wide variety of solar demonstrations, education and seminars through multiple partners.  Seminars and training can be applied to LEED certification and/or continuing education for LEED certified professionals. Much of the training appears to be applicable to the public as well.

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