Starting in July, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) will offer a training and certification program through UL University (ULU) for installers of photovoltaic products and systems. The Photovoltaic (PV) System Installer certification is geared towards licensed electricians. “ULU will offer hands-on training that will be closely aligned with the knowledge and skills required for practitioners to perform safely and effectively,” says Patrick Boyle, president of ULU.

Worldwide in 2009, PV installations reached 7.3 GW, representing growth of 20 percent over the previous year. To help sustain this growth, industry personnel can be trained to meet a standard that outlines proper guidelines for everything from PV systems installation to the safe manufacture of the product itself. “The UL University program will streamline and standardize the education installers need to ensure the solar industry can fulfill its role as one of the primary energy sources of the future,” says Bill Brooks, professional engineer of Brooks Solar. “Training these individuals to comply with an industry standard will provide the human capital needed to continue building upon the rapid and upward progress being made in the field.”

In mid-summer 2010, ULU will unveil a new, full-service facility to support its venture into personnel certification. Located at UL’s RTP laboratories in Raleigh, N.C., the campus will offer training and personnel certification programs in categories like general laboratory technology, PV testing, food safety, National Electric Code, electric vehicles, and fire safety.

For more information on UL University and the PV System Installer certification program, visit