The best way to capture work in a new and emerging market is to take part in training and become certified as an expert in this type of work. Certification can help differentiate you and your company from others that might claim they are qualified to do this type of work, but really aren’t.

The Energy Storage and Microgrid Training and Certification (ESAM-TAC) program was conceived by IBEW and NECA in response to a boom in the energy storage market. This program is also supported by the National Science Foundation.

The project goals that have been set up for this program include:

• Develop training program and certification for energy storage installation

• Serve electrical workers and NECA, IEEE and utility professionals

• Develop blended and tested learning modules

• Support launch of regional hubs for training

• Develop, test and initiate train-the-trainer programs

This three year project will also certify its program through the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). This independent organization will monitor and classify the certification program.

Early work in this area is being supported by partnerships with energy storage manufacturers, battery manufacturers, and NECA contractors with data center experience. A train-the-trainer pilot training program will take place December 5-9, 2016 at the GridSTAR Center in the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Lessons learned to date include:

• Data center battery assembly and maintenance requires specialty skills not formerly covered in existing training programs. ESM systems will require even more knowledge and skills to build and maintain active energy storage systems.

• On-site racking and stacking of battery cells versus off site prefabrication. Onsite assembly is the way to go!