Teaching Firefighters How to Safely Work Around PV

August 7, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

fire energy manageThe New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) launched the NY-Sun PV Trainers Network to help firefighters safely work on buildings where solar is installed and to help local officials streamline permitting and inspection processes.

In 2013, a 7,000-panel solar array on top of a distribution center in South New Jersey may have led to the destruction of the facility because firefighters were held back from fighting a fire at the building due to fears of electrocution.

In addition to training firefighters, the NYSERDA program aims to reduce some of the obstacles to mainstream adoption of solar by local governments, particularly barriers associated with PV permitting, installation, inspection and approvals by local municipalities.

The workshops will begin in August, and will be provided to participants for free or at a minimal cost.

The training is a partnership of NYSERDA, Meister Consultants Group, Entech Engineering, the City University of New York (CUNY) and other academic institutions.

The Energy Department‘s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released research that charts a path to achieving non-hardware “soft cost” targets of $0.44 per watt for commercial solar systems by 2020.

Photo: Firefighters via Shutterstock

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