As the cost of solar power decreases and the demand for eco-friendly buildings increases, requests for solar power panel installations are growing for Power North members. Belknap Electric, a 4th generation electrical company serving northern Wisconsin and Minnesota is committed to providing safe and efficient solar power.
A recent project saw apprentice Andrew Larson and crew building out a 30-panel grid. It should generate about 11 and a half kilowatts an hour. Surprisingly, it only takes about a day or two to complete this type of installation. The process is complex but to expert electricians, it’s a simple job to do right.
“We first install the mounting for the solar panels,” explains Larson. “Once that’s done, we run all the electrical lines. Then, we place the microinverters, which convert the DC from the solar panels to AC. After that, we place the panels and make sure everything is syncing with the grid.”
With every project comes challenges. For Larson, the biggest challenge was working with a variety of solar panel designs. Each system is different depending on the manufacturer.
“They all have their own specific niches, mostly mounting and programming,” says Larson.
Power North electricians come with years of experience. Each journeyman must complete a five-year apprenticeship and two years of vocational school. Even apprentices working on projects come with a high-level of knowledge and hours of rigorous safety classes.
“I think being a union apprentice is great,” says Larson. “I really like the apprenticeship program. You learn a lot. It’s a really great opportunity.”
This is only the beginning of the opportunities and projects for Larson. Solar panel installation numbers continue to grow and so does the need for quality electricians. Interested in becoming an apprentice? Apply today.