POWER52 is a Baltimore-based non-profit that provides career training and job placement opportunities in the renewable energy sector, bringing forth equitable opportunities and inclusion to an underrepresented demographic and population. Power52’s Energy Professional Training program is accredited by the National Center for Construction, Education & Research (NCCER) that provides classroom instruction, OSHA training, lab instruction and job readiness. The standardized curriculum covers the basic concepts of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and their components, as well as how to size, design, and install the systems.
To help accelerate Power52’s mission of reducing unemployment and underemployment around Baltimore, OutBack Power Technologies, an EnerSys company, donated one of its FLEXpower ONE FXR integrated systems with FXR or VFXR Series inverter/chargers to Power52 Energy Institute’s Solar Installation Training program. This system supports solar + storage providing back up resiliency. OutBack Power is the first company to donate equipment to the program, which consists of a fully pre-wired single inverter system with a convenient and compact design and is valued at over $5,000.
“Our fundamental goal is to empower communities to build their own hope-filled future, and we are fortunate to partner with companies like OutBack Power to advance our mission,” said Cherie Brooks, President & CEO of Power52 Foundation. “We believe this equipment will help improve our program and allow students to get first-hand experience of installing field equipment that allows trainees to be better prepared and more successful when they become employed.”
This program is awesome. Founded by Ray Lewis, Cherie Brooks, and Rob Wallace, the Power52 Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation dedicated to training and employing at-risk individuals in clean energy. The Solar Installation Training program has an employment placement rate of 90 percent, with the average starting hourly wage of $18.50 and 75 percent employment retention at the six-month mark. The program has seen less than 10 percent recidivate at any time during the follow-up period of graduates placed in positions. The 11-week training program is held three times a year for a maximum of 75 students. To date, they have conducted fourteen cohorts for 186 participants in the Baltimore Metropolitan region.
“As the solar industry continues to grow in the U.S., the need for professionally trained installers is also increasing,” said Paul Dailey, Director of Product & Market Strategy for OutBack Power. “We are glad to be a part of this initiative to help support our industry that ultimately gives people more energy independence.”
The OutBack FLEXpower ONE FXR is also cool. The system is programmable for seven different modes including GridZero, which blends utility power and stored renewable energy and minimizing grid dependence. The FLEXpower ONE FXR integrated system is ideal for residential and commercial applications including cabins, vacation homes, farm buildings, remote communications sites, and back-up power systems, with all necessary components integrated into a compact hang-on-the-wall system with a minimal footprint.