A 448-kilowatt commercial solar system was powered up last Tuesday at the San Bernardino Corporate Center near Mill Street and Toppecanoe Avenue. The project came out of a partnership of the Novato-based SPG Solar Inc., the nonprofit for Sustainable Communities Reinvestment Partnership, known as SCRIP Inc, and the Inland Valley Development Agency (IVDA), the regional joint powers authority overseeing redevelopment in and around the former Norton Air Force Base.

The commercial solar system will offset up to 55 percent of the center's electricity bill and save about $90,000 a year, an IVDA spokeswoman said.

The panels were installed on the facility's rooftop and parking structures. Officials promoted the project as a good example of cutting future operating expenses and supporting initiatives for reduced carbon emissions.

"It's not easy to be green," said the city's interim director, Emil Marzullo. "But the rewards in the long term are certainly worthwhile."

"IVDA's commitment and investment into solar is coming at a time when budgets are tight," said SPG Solar President and CEO Chris Robine.

SPG Solar develops project for large commercial, government and public energy users. It manages more than 1,500 solar system installations in several states.

Mayor Pat Morris said the project represents local efforts to engage in sustainability measures, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of San Bernardino International Airport.

Many projects such as the one mentioned in this article have been sprouting out throughout the United States. Efforts to build solar power plants have been seen from the east coast to the west coast, and the demand for solar photovoltaic installers is on the rapid rise.

One problem that is arising in the solar industry is the lack of solar photovoltaic installers, which is a great opportunity for those who are looking for a new career in the "green" industry. As businesses and homeowners are becoming more open to solar panels, the demand is increasing. Solar panels are becoming smaller, more efficient and affordable causing solar panel installers to play a key role in the future of solar panel installation.

A person interested in becoming a solar PV installer should first attend a free solar training seminar in order to see if the type of job suites him or her. Many solar training schools offer free informational sessions on the types of solar courses they offer.

If a person recognizes that becoming a solar PV installer and entering the "green-collar" industry suites them, then one should highly consider attending a solar installation course and receiving a solar installation certification. Employers will not even consider hiring a person if one lacks knowledge and training in solar PV installation.

Upon receiving proper training and certification in solar panel installation, one is ready to take the NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) certification test. NABCEP is the nationwide certifier for solar energy workers. In order to take the NABCEP test, one must apply providing information that says the person is ready to take the test, such as a certification from a solar training school and a picture proving they attended an on-site solar training school.

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