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Educational Programs & Job training

Renewable Energy Education Programs

Job Training Under FEJA & CEJA and Equity Eligible Contractors

Job training programs that were developed as a result of the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) (P.A. 99-0906) were being managed by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) until June 30, 2022.

At that time, the management of these programs changed hands from ComEd to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). These programs will also be updated in size and scope. This change was mandated by the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) (P.A. 102-0662), which was signed into law on September 15, 2021.

You can keep up to date on DCEO workforce development here.

The passage of CEJA also formed a new distinction for Approved Vendors under the Adjustable Block Program called Equity Eligible Contractors (EECs). This new type of Approved Vendor receives the same REC price as other project applications submitted to the program, but are offered a distinct block of capacity that is reserved for those that qualify as EECs.

Approved Vendors that would like to submit projects into the Equity Eligible Contractor (EEC) category must first apply to become EEC certified. They may do so in conjunction with their Approved Vendor application or at any time after submitting their initial Approved Vendor application.

You can learn more about these changes at the IPA website linked here.

Solar Installer Training

DG Certification for installers is required in the state of Illinois. This page details a variety of paths to take to get certified.

Organizations that offer professional training courses and workshops:
  • Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA): MREA Solar Training Academies are a series of weekend classes providing students with industry-leading solar technical training. Topics include photovoltaic (PV) fundamentals, PV site assessment practices, and design principles and considerations. These can be completed online or in person at the following locations: Bloomington, IL and Kankakee, IL. Upon academy completion, students qualify to sit for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Associate Exam, an increasingly sought-after solar credential valued by the industry.
    • Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, MREA has postponed all in-person training in an effort to keep students and teachers safe. Online courses are continuing as usual with new options being added! See more here
  • Everblue
  • Solar Energy International

Associate Degree

Many community colleges provide opportunities for renewable energy education. Check the Illinois Community College Board website to view current programs.

Bachelor Programs

Graduate Programs

Other Resources

  • Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) offers a variety of trainings, including a new one for code officials. IREC has also developed a series of interactive career maps, found here. IREC’s Career Maps are unique, interactive tools that educators, career advisors, job seekers, employers, policymakers, and workforce professionals can use to explore the many diverse careers offered across the growing clean energy industry. These maps—including the Solar Career Map, HVAC/R Map, and Green Buildings Career Map—describe dozens of careers as well as their various routes for advancement. 



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