Batteries, Renewables, Solar

Holmesglen’s solar carports revolutionise green learning

Melbourne’s Holmesglen Institute is taking its solar and EV training to another level, giving students valuable clean energy training.

Holmesglen Institute’s Renewable Centre of Excellence in Victoria is shaking things up with its fresh approach to green energy training. The centre recently launched a program that combines grid-connected, commercial-scale photovoltaic installations and electric vehicle charging stations.

The short training courses offer apprentices and upskilling electricians practical experience and hands-on renewables installation experience. The premium equipment at Holmesglen’s Moorabbin campus includes four EV chargers and six parking spaces, as well as a 150kW solar carport, featuring Fronius inverters and BYD lithium batteries.

This equipment and training provide trainees with practical exposure to larger scale installations. The solar carport shows students different formats and requirements for commercial installations, and they gain confidence and experience with projects beyond residential installations, including systems with capacities up to 100kW.

The development of the Renewable Centre of Excellence was supported by the Victorian Government, and the four EV parking chargers are accessible to the public.

Future-proofing careers

The Green Economy is one of the Victorian Government’s engines for economic growth. The state has set an ambitious target to generate 95 per cent of energy from renewables by 2035.

With people increasingly considering alternative energy solutions to manage their power costs, electricians and apprentices are turning to Holmesglen for nationally accredited training to navigate the dynamic solar landscape and future-proof their careers.

Coupled with electric vehicles transforming from a niche sector to the mainstream in Australia, electricians require a broader skill set in 2023. Many of them realise they may soon be required to install a charging station and battery in every home.

Holmesglen Institute’s renewable energy senior instructor, David Tolliday, is an industry expert in clean energy. He regularly interacts with manufacturers, suppliers and installers to provide trainees with the latest skills and knowledge.

He has travelled around Australia to inspect standalone hybrid power systems, providing feedback and recommendations, and has also studied the latest technology in Germany and Spain.

Advocating for sustainability

Tolliday emphasises that trainees at Holmesglen − through practical experience and accreditation in solar and EV technologies − become advocates for sustainable energy, contributing to an eco-conscious future.

A diverse student body undertakes the institute’s short courses, with ages ranging from 22 to 69, reflecting the appeal and necessity of renewable energy skills training.

With industry support, trainees learn the latest PV and battery technologies from manufacturers such as Clenergy, Solis, SunPower, BYD, REC, PowerPlus and Fronius.

Holmesglen courses include grid-connected PV (GCPV), battery storage, standalone (off-grid) power systems and tailor-made industry training solutions.

Holmesglen is one of the largest TAFEs in Victoria and is considered the state’s premier training facility. It has expanded its facilities for nationally accredited solar course offerings since 2008.

“This underscores the vital role institutions such as Holmesglen play in advancing the green economy and supporting a transition towards a more sustainable future,” says Tolliday.

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