Dominion Energy and nearly two dozen other organizations recently launched SHINE – Solar Hands-On Instructional Network of Excellence to train solar installers at Southside Virginia Community College and to maximize local talent to meet the growing demand for clean-energy jobs.
The inaugural class recently graduated, and the hands-on training program will link graduates with potential employers in the solar energy field. The next group of students began training this week.
“We have a strong history of creating job opportunities across Virginia. Many of those jobs now support the commonwealth’s transition to a clean-energy future,” says Matt Kellam, military and recruitment program coordinator at Dominion Energy. “As we continue to build wind and solar projects, we are also creating new opportunities for workers in Virginia.”
Dominion Energy, which recently announced the largest commercial offshore wind project in the U.S., has committed to having 3 GW of solar and wind energy in operation or under development in Virginia by 2022.
Dominion Energy’s efforts in clean-energy workforce development also include training current employees to access and inspect offshore wind turbines. They are learning everything from first aid to working at heights. Next, they will learn sea survival skills. Recent classes were conducted in partnership with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, in advance of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project. Two 6 MW turbines will be installed and begin generating clean energy next year.
The company has also partnered with Tidewater Community College since 2010 to help build a curriculum for clean-energy education. A leader in training clean-energy workers, the college created one of the first Career Studies Certificates in Renewable Energy Technologies. More than 50 students have gone through the program, and a dozen more are enrolled this fall.