The year 2018 has been a year of firsts on the Cape Eleuthera Island School campus. With all the accolades that have come the school’s way for its marine science efforts over the past 18 years, there has always been another, albeit less publicized, but consistent thread throughout the CEIS fabric. With 70 kW (power) of installed renewable energy (RE) generating equipment on campus, providing about 40% of the energy (kWh) necessary to light our classrooms, cool our offices, and heat our water; the wind turbine and solar modules on campus were some of the earliest RE systems in The Bahamas and surely the only ones to be given special permission to connect to the electrical utility grid on Eleuthera a decade ago.

With that history in mind, CEIS received a new endorsement this year on their business license. In addition to non-profit educational institution, CEIS is now granted permission to do solar design and installation throughout the island nation. CEIS moved quickly in this new space, and successfully installed and grid-connected the first commercial solar array on Eleuthera at The Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina next door. This array received the new distinction of the first Small Scale Renewable Generation (SSRG) approved array on the island.

Now…with that history in mind, CEIS recently developed a solar training program for island residents to skill the future workforce for the renewable energy industry on island. To further legitimize this training, the curriculum was sent to the National Accreditation & Equivalency Council Of The Bahamas (NAECOB) for approval as a new certificate-based training program. In yet another first for CEIS, the course was approved. Beginning September 3, Introduction To Solar-Electric Theory, Design, and Construction: A Practical Approach To Designing and Installing Residential Scale Solar-Electric Systems in The Bahamas, will be delivered to the inaugural 15-student class as a 40-hour solar installer certificate program in lockstep with our friends in this venture CTI – Centre for Training & Innovation, in Rock Sound. As part of this first-of-its-kind training, participants will receive trade-specific tools, textbooks, complete an examination, and also take part in a practical 8-kW residential-scale solar installation.

This training was made possible through the collective efforts of CTI and CSD, who entered into an agreement to collaborate in the training of solar professionals on the island of Eleuthera. Funding provided by United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme’s grant funding program, Global Environment Facility (GEF). For more information about GEF, visit their website.

As always, we believe there is no better way to learn than to do.

Class details can be found on the Center for Sustainable Development’s Facebook page.