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Utility Scale Commercial & Industrial Solar and Storage 101


Approved for 35 Hours of NABCEP Advanced PV Training

Instructors: Christopher LaForge, Chris Brown

Subjects: Solar: Batteries and Storage, Solar: NABCEP

Length: 6 weeks

Student Rating

8.0 out of 10 (view ratings)
34 students have taken this course

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What utilities need to know to accept proposals for commercial and industrial utility grade energy storage systems.

This course will provide a detailed analysis of commercial and industrial utility grade energy storage systems. Beginning with an overview of the current available technologies the course will present the elements of Commercial and Industrial Energy Storage (C&IES) with a focus on the benefits to Commercial and Industrial energy users as well as the advantages of energy storage for utilities.

Issues to be covered include: Storage system design, battery applications, component specification and installation, integration of storage with Renewable Energy (RE) systems, multiple presentations of specific manufacturers of storage systems, O&M issues, available industry resources for ongoing education and the development of individual projects as a Capstone to the course.

The course reviews all the different technologies, terminology, design issues, value streams & stacking, and a cursory look at monitoring, O&M and security as well as business models. Students write a proposal for a solar-plus-storage project and the capstone project.

Learning Objectives - Participants in this course will upon completion of this course, be able to:

This is the first of two courses in the Utility Scale Commercial & Industrial Solar and Storage Series. Enrolling in the series saves money and results in 70 advanced NABCEP hours.

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Preview the Course Material

Check out a free preview of the course by clicking the button below. This is a live assignment from the course and will give you a good sense for what the course will be like.

Free Preview - Introduction - LaForge
Flexible Online Training for Industry Professionals

You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. Get access to all of the course materials as soon as you enroll. The instructor-led session will begin on the scheduled start date. During the session dates the instructor will be in the course answering questions on the discussion board. After the instructor-led session ends, you'll continue to have access to all of the course materials for a full year and can complete the course at your own pace.

Access Information and Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible 12 months (1 year) after the session end date. Access can be extended beyond 1 year with a monthly membership. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world.

Earn A Certificate of Completion

When you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.

Earn Continuing Education Credits

Approved for: NABCEP Advanced Credit Hours, NABCEP NEC, NABCEP JTA, NABCEP RE Elective, NABCEP Building or Fire Code, NABCEP PV Associate Renewal.

Approved NABCEP CEU Hours by Credential and Category

NABCEP Credential Advanced Hours for Exam Recertification CEU Hours NEC JTA RE Elective Building or Fire Code
PV Installation Professional (PVIP) Certification 35 35 6 30 35 2
PV Associate (PVA) Credential 0 12 0 0 0 0
PV Design Specialist (PVDS) Certification 24 35 6 18 35 2
PV Installer Specialist (PVIS) Certification 24 35 6 18 35 2
PV Technical Sales (PVTS) Certification 35 35 0 18 35 0
PV Commissioning & Maintenance Specialist (PVCMS) Certification 24 35 6 18 35 2

+ Learn more about NABCEP Credentials

This course is a great introduction to the different aspects of the solar and storage industries. From development through commissioning, this touches on all of them. As a quality inspector, I have to stay in front of the curve of data, and this really helped. Thanks Chris and Chris.

- Alan Courtemanche - Sr QA inspector, Standard Solar

I took this course to know more about the types of storage systems available and it does deliver. I learnt that there's not only the BESS type of storage systems but also another mechanical forms of storage devices that researchers are working on developing. Besides the assignments walk you through various basic and essential topics. Really enjoyed the course with Mr. Christopher LaForge & Mr. Chris Brown. I'd sincerely like to thank them for coming up with this course.

- Prithviraj Shelke

+ Read more student ratings and reviews for this course


Christopher LaForge

Certified Master Trainer (IREC), NABCEP Certified Photovoltaic Professional - Emeritus , Great Northern Solar

Christopher LaForge is the CEO of Great Northern Solar and a NABCEP certified photovoltaic installer-emeritus. He has been designing, specifying, and installing systems since 1988. He has been an instructor with the MREA since 1993 teaching Advanced Photovoltaic design and installation and is an ISPQ Affiliated Master Trainer. In 2016 he was named IREC's Master Trainer...[more]

Chris Brown

Sr. Manager of Project Development , Hanwha Q CELLS

Chris Brown is passionate about the renewable energy and enthusiastic about sustainable solutions through technology and innovation. After completing his undergraduate education at the University of Massachusetts, Chris entered technical sales of renewable energy products 2006 with a focus on off grid renewable energy projects around the world. Several years later,...[more]

Free Preview - Introduction - LaForge

Course Outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can complete the material whenever is convenient and work ahead or catch up if you fall behind. The course discussion board is a great place to interact with other students and ask questions. Expect to dedicate a minimum of 5 hours per week to the course. The instructor-led session runs for the posted dates and you will receive weekly emails to keep you on pace. Course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after the session ends. Please review the orientation materials and introduce yourself on the discussion board.

  • Introduction to HeatSpring (Video - 01:25 minutes) Preview
  • Introduction - LaForge (Video - 04:40 minutes) Preview
  • Introduction - Chris Brown (Video - 01:02 minutes) Preview
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile (Text)
  • Course Overview (Video - 05:49 minutes)
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board (Text)
Week 1

  • Why Solar + Storage? (Video - 11:52 minutes)
  • Why Solar+Storage NOW? (Video - 07:23 minutes)
  • Solar + Storage 1.0 Course Overview (Video - 04:04 minutes) Preview
  • 100% renewable energy (Download .pdf)
  • 100% renewable energy part 2 (Download .pdf)
  • Companies going green (Resource)
  • Air Pollution (Download .pdf)
  • Duck Curve Reading (Download .pdf)
  • Duck Curve Reading 2 (Download .pdf)
  • Utilities and Renewables (Download .pdf)
  • Coal Plants (Download .pdf)
  • USA Coal vs Renewables (Download .pdf)
  • Traditional Generation vs Renewables - Reading (Download .pdf)
  • Heightened focus on decarbonization likely post COVID-19 crisis (Download .pdf)
  • Why are you interested in solar and storage? (Text)
  • History of Solar and Storage (Video - 08:47 minutes)
  • Hydrocarbons (Download .pdf)
  • How Electricity is Generated (Download .pdf)
  • Photovoltaic effect (Download .pdf)
  • Basic Concepts (Video - 10:15 minutes)
  • Acronyms, Abbreviations and Definitions (Download .xlsx)
  • Solar ITC (Download .pdf)
  • on grid vs off grid (Video - 03:32 minutes)
  • on grid vs off grid (Resource)
  • Off Grid - continued... (Video - 08:40 minutes)
  • In Front of Meter vs Behind the Meter (Video - 03:53 minutes)
  • Wiring Diagrams (Download .pdf)
  • AC vs DC Coupled (Video - 03:47 minutes)
  • AC vs DC (Download .pdf)
  • AC vs DC Coupled Part 1 (Download .pdf)
  • AC Vs: Dc Coupling continued... (Video - 06:56 minutes)
  • AC vs DC Coupled Part 2 (Download .pdf)
  • Week 1 Quiz (Quiz)
  • Week 1 wrap-up Week 2 Overview (Video - 26:10 minutes)
Week 2

  • Design and Specification - Solar PV Modules Part 1 (Video - 15:05 minutes)
  • Solar PV Modules Part 2 (Video - 15:56 minutes)
  • Solar PV Module Websites (Text)
  • Design and Specification - Mounting and attachment Part 1 (Video - 14:41 minutes)
  • Mounting and Attachment Part 2 (Video - 11:32 minutes)
  • Mounting and Attachment websites (Text)
  • Design and Specification - Inverters (Video - 15:04 minutes)
  • Huawei, Sungrow and SMA in the global inverter market (Download .pdf)
  • PCS and DC/DC Converters (Video - 03:50 minutes)
  • Power Conversion System Architectures (Download .pdf)
  • PCS Market from Navigant (Download .pdf)
  • DynaPower Website (Resource)
  • Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) (Video - 03:37 minutes)
  • Telsa (Video - 06:10 minutes)
  • Tesla + Green Mt (Download .pdf)
  • Tesla quietly adds bidirectional charging capability for game-changing new features (Resource)
  • Panasonic (Video - 04:42 minutes)
  • Panasonic CO Project (Download .pdf)
  • LG Chem (Video - 02:40 minutes)
  • Sungrow-Samsung SDI (Video - 01:19 minutes)
  • Sungrow-Samsung SDI website (Resource)
  • BYD (Video)
  • BYD Website (Resource)
  • CATL and Powin (Video - 01:06 minutes)
  • CATL (Download .pdf)
  • CATL + Powin (Download .pdf)
  • ESS End of Life (Download .pdf)
  • Solar panel recycling: Turning ticking time bombs into opportunities (Resource)
  • The Future Of Energy Storage Beyond Lithium Ion (Resource)
  • Week 2 Quiz (Quiz)
  • Week 2 wrap-up Week 3 Overview (Video - 27:51 minutes)
Week 3

  • Week 3 - Technologies - Overview (Video - 03:32 minutes)
  • Technologies - Hydro (Video - 05:57 minutes)
  • Long-Duration Energy Storage (Download .pdf)
  • Technologies - Flywheel (Video - 03:53 minutes)
  • Technologies - Compressed Air (Video - 03:48 minutes)
  • Technologies - Capacitors (Video - 01:35 minutes)
  • Killowatt Labs (Resource)
  • Technologies - Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) (Video - 01:39 minutes)
  • Technologies - Hydrogen (Video - 15:26 minutes)
  • America’s Largest Municipal Utility Invests in Move from Coal to Hydrogen Power (Download .pdf)
  • The Global Hydrogen Economy Fueling a Low Carbon Future (Resource)
  • Technologies - Battery Overview (Video - 03:13 minutes)
  • Technologies - Lead Acid Batteries (Video - 02:46 minutes)
  • Lithium Ion Batteries (Video - 11:30 minutes)
  • Batteries for EV (Download .pdf)
  • How Lithium Polymer Batteries are Made (Resource)
  • cylindrical vs prismatic cells (Resource)
  • Technologies - Flow Batteries (Video - 07:12 minutes)
  • Technologies - Sodium-sulfur batteries (Video - 03:24 minutes)
  • Lithium Ion vs Pumped Hydro (Download .pdf)
  • Week 3 Quiz (Quiz)
  • Week 3 Wrap up Week 4 Overview (Video - 24:58 minutes)
Week 4

  • Applications and Value Streams - Solar Only (Video - 03:58 minutes) Preview
  • Intro to Value Stacking (Video - 05:40 minutes) Preview
  • The Economics of Battery Energy Storage (Download .pdf)
  • Applications and Value Streams - Residential Off Grid (Video - 09:10 minutes)
  • The value of resilience (Download .pdf)
  • Week 4, Applications and Value Streams Residential Grid Inter-tied - BTM (Video - 08:05 minutes)
  • Applications and Value Streams - C&I (Video - 12:46 minutes)
  • Stem's guide to Backup Power (Download .pdf)
  • Energy storage net metering: An illustration of why it’s so valuable (Resource)
  • Stem's guide to Enterprise Energy Strategies (Download .pdf)
  • Applications and Value Streams - Utility (Video - 06:15 minutes)
  • Frequency Regulation (Resource)
  • Already cheaper to install new-build battery storage than peaking plants (Download .pdf)
  • Transactive Energy Report (Download .pdf)
  • Q2 2020 updates on energy storage at utility scale (Resource)
  • Applications and Value Streams - Micro-grids (Video - 12:44 minutes)
  • Microgrid Case Study Part 1 (Download .pdf)
  • Microgrid Case Study Part 2 (Download .pdf)
  • Microgrid Case Study Part 3 (Download .pdf)
  • Transmission congestion (Download .pdf)
  • Week 4 Quiz (Quiz)
  • Week 4 Wrap-up week 5 overview (Video - 23:22 minutes)
Week 5 - Week 5

  • Code and Compliance - Outline (Video - 08:15 minutes)
  • Code and Compliance (Video - 13:08 minutes)
  • Create your NFPA Profile account (Resource)
  • Consider signing up with NFPA - and Sign in to the NFPA account and take the Training! (Resource)
  • Access the "CODES & STANDARDS" page on the NFPA site. (Resource)
  • NFPA 70 - Article 690 (Resource)
  • Article 691 - Large Scale Photovoltaic (PV) Electric Supply Systems (Resource)
  • NFPA 70 - Article 705 - Interconnected Electrical Power Production Sources (Resource)
  • NFPA 70 - Article 706 - Energy Storage Systems (Resource)
  • NFPA 855: Standard for the Installation of Stationary Energy Storage Systems (Resource)
  • Data monitoring and analysis (Video - 03:16 minutes)
  • Monitoring the systems - Data collection and analysis (Video - 11:15 minutes)
  • Advanced SCADA functionality helps solar operators manage the future (Resource)
  • Stem's Athena Whitepaper (Download .pdf)
  • How AI is changing energy storage O&M (Resource)
  • Security (Video - 02:14 minutes)
  • Security of operations and interfaces (SCADA) (Video - 04:43 minutes)
  • Executive Order on Securing the United States Bulk-Power System (Download .pdf)
  • Programs and Policies (Video - 09:37 minutes)
  • Energy Storage Goals, Targets, Mandates: What’s the Di (Download .pdf)
  • Utility Duke Energy in the hot seat for perceived slow progress in clean energy (Download .pdf)
  • Duke to double renewable capacity in 5 years, but critics say utility lags on storage deployment (Download .pdf)
  • Ann Arbor’s Living Carbon Neutrality Plan (Download .pdf)
  • Business Models (Video - 07:13 minutes)
  • A Business model option (Video - 06:20 minutes)
  • Storage at 20 USD/MWh? Breaking down the lowcost solar-plus-storage PPAs in the USA (Download .pdf)
  • Renewables and electric vehicles lower-costs (Resource)
  • Behind the numbers: The rapidly falling LCOE of battery storage (Download .pdf)
  • Grid-scale battery projects joining transmission operator-run markets in California and Texas (Download .pdf)
  • Solar and Wind Cheapest Sources of Power in Most of the World (Download .pdf)
  • Week 5 Quiz (Quiz)
  • Week 5 Wrap up & Week 6 Preview (Video - 23:16 minutes)
Week 6 - Week 6

  • The Capstone Project (Video - 11:22 minutes)
  • Capstone Project - Outline (Download .pdf)
  • Submit Your Capstone Project (Submit File)
  • S+S 1.0 course Conclusion and S+S 2.0 Preview (Video - 09:42 minutes)
After The Course - Feedback and Additional Resources

No matter how great this course is, we know it's just one part of a bigger journey. In this module we'll start thinking about what comes next. You'll provide feedback on the course and learn about additional resources. Don't forget that you'll have access to the course materials for 12 months after the session ends. Feel free to come back as much as you like to continue learning, and please stay in touch. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership.

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials (Text)
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey (Survey)
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member (Resource)
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate (Certificate)
Free Preview - Introduction - LaForge

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