The last time SolarGen went before the Tulare County Board of Supervisors in July 2010, the supes voted to allow the Littleton,Co.-based company to proceed with solar and wind projects on agricultural land.

Since then, its partners at Proteus Inc. in Visalia have been moving forward with a training program that it hopes will employ about 200 people in the field of photovoltaic panel installation.

“We’ve been working with Proteus for the jobs we’re going to create in the Tulare County area,” Carmine Iadarola of SolarGen said.

Hector Uriarte, the green jobs coordinator with Proteus Inc. in Visalia said students from all across the county are undergoing a six-week training course at the company’s Doe Avenue warehouse.

“It’s such a new industry; we’re training for entry-level solar panel installation which will allow them to get into the industry and move on and be able to work,” he said.

The six-week course provides 210 hours of hands-on training on installation as well as basic information on photovoltaic technology. The students were finishing up a week of training Thursday.

“Soon they will learn about putting panels together, wiring, conduit bending and all of the assembly work required,” Uriarte said. A mock roof with shingles was installed in the warehouse so that students could learn how to put together an array of solar panels.

Uriarte said Proteus also works with Grid Alternatives which provides solar installation for low-income housing.

“We provide the workforce and they provide the instruction,” he said.

source: visaliatimesdelta

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