Safety testing and certification organization Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is offering a new program to train and certify installers of photovoltaic products and systems.

Held at UL’s new UL University lab in Research Triangle Park, N.C., the five-day course for licensed electricians will provide hands-on exposure to the process of installing a photovoltaic system, an overview of solar products, and customer service training.

Cost for the course is $2,650; UL University is offering a 40% discount to the first 50 participants who register. After completing training, participants can register for the $300 PV System Installation Certification Exam.

With solar power expected to generate 10% of the world’s total electricity by 2035, the safety of installed systems will become more important than ever, according to UL University president Patrick Boyle. Worldwide in 2009, PV installations reached a record high 7.3 gigawatts, representing 20% growth over the previous year.