The two most active and attentive students in a recent Solar Executive MBA Training course came not from the solar industry but from the Texas oil industry, says Keith Cronin, HeatSpring’s co-instructor of the course.
“Both had extensive backgrounds and were very knowledgeable and aware. They realized the oil industry wasn’t their future, and were really engaged in the class. They took the skills they learned in the oil industry and applied them to the solar industry,” he says.
More and more, HeatSpring’s Solar Executive MBA Training students come from other industries, including chemicals, oil and finance. They come from all over the world and hold many different positions.
Students Seek More Fulfilling Work
The students are often subject matter experts who have realized that they want to do work that’s more fulfilling and leave behind a legacy, Cronin says. Sometimes the students have peaked in their own industries and are looking for new opportunities.
These students have come to the right place. The newly updated Solar Executive MBA Training course guides students through the process of entering the solar industry and covers topics such as identifying project materials, creating development plans, managing people, managing overhead and creating incentive programs for employees.
Demand for Solar Workers Increasing Due to Lower Costs of Solar and Storage
The interest from people outside of the solar industry is well timed, adds Cronin. He expects that Joe Biden will win the upcoming presidential election and that “will unleash trillions of dollars and clean energy infrastructure and provide jobs for thousands of people,” he says.
In fact, the demand for solar workers is already high, due to the fact that the costs of solar and storage are dropping.
“In Texas, oil is collapsing. Billions of dollars of investment are going into solar-plus-storage, which is becoming competitive with the current costs of electricity,” says Cronin. “And with sunny states like Texas, there’s a perfect storm.”
In Hawaii, a recent utility Request for Proposals yielded solar-plus-storage prices as low as 8 cents/kWh, less expensive than grid power, he adds.
Gaining a “Fast Runway” to the Solar Business
To take advantage of the growing solar industry–especially in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis– executive MBA students gain a “fast runway” to start a company, says Cronin. They acquire tools and resources to evaluate the economics of projects. They’re given templates and sample contracts that allow them to start a business quickly.
New Material in Solar Executive MBA Training Course
Some new additions to the course will help give students that runway to the industry. A new load analysis tool helps students identify when and how potential customers would use solar, says Christopher Lord, co-instructor of the course. “It allows students to understand when and how the customer uses energy and compare it to how solar production on a site will work.”
A second addition to the course is a standardized power purchase agreement (PPA). Under a PPA, a third party installs, owns and operates solar systems and the customer purchases the output of the panels, making monthly payments to the third party.
“Investors familiar with a standard contract will feel more comfortable investing in a project,” says Lord.
COVID-19 Crisis Has Helped People Focus on What’s Important
With these and other course features, instructors Lord and Cronin are prepared for students eager to leap into work that’s gratifying.
And it appears that more and more people are ready to take that leap, in part because the COVID-19 crisis has afforded them time to think about work that would be meaningful to them, says Cronin.
“People are thinking, ‘Where is the future I want to be part of?’” he says.
Next Instructor-Led Session Begins Soon
The newly updated Solar Executive MBA Training course has a new instructor-led session beginning September 21st so don’t miss out on this career transforming opportunity with experts Chris Lord and Keith Cronin.