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The annual NABCEP Continuing Education Conference is a cornerstone in our U.S. solar industry, and we are so grateful for its return this month — hosted virtually in a safe and welcoming format for everyone in our solar community to learn and share with one another.

This is the fourth consecutive year that BayWa r.e. Solar Systems will be the Platinum Sponsor for the conference. We appreciate NABCEP‘s commitment to establishing high standards for solar professionals and providing contractors with seals that convey quality and reliability. BayWa r.e. and NABCEP also share the fundamental values of cultivating healthy solar businesses and industry resiliency. Attending NABCEP is always a valuable event for us: we get to check in with contractors to see if they’re getting the support they need from us, and catch up with our industry-leading manufacturer partners. It is also an opportunity to receive feedback about our own education efforts that we deliver through our digital magazine and Solar Town Halls.

Here’s a preview of what awaits us at #NABCEP2020:

Knowledge Exchanged – Meet Some of the BayWa r.e. Team Who Will Be Participating

“The technical trainings are top notch, and I always look forward to them,” says BayWa r.e. Solar Systems Product Manager Kate Collardson. “This will be my eighth NABCEP CE Conference, and each year I am most excited for the conversations that I have. The people who attend the conference are some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry, and while we won’t be able to chat face to face, I feel confident that we will have great discussions in the virtual format.”
Kate will be among the industry experts speaking at the roundtable discussion Roofing Considerations for Solar Installations on September 9; the Cradle to Grave: Managing PV System Life Cycles panel discussion on September 10; and she will also be moderating the September 21 panel discussion Engineering PV to Withstand the Weather: Structural Considerations for PV Installations in Wind and Snow.
Meanwhile, BayWa r.e. Solar Systems Product Manager Aaron Bingham will moderate the September 22 panel discussion Understanding Energy Storage Solutions as a System.
“For me, (Christine Owens), this will be my final NABCEP conference, since I’m retiring at the end of September. But before I go, I’ll be co-hosting the Women in Solar Celebration on September 11 with Kate Collardson, and moderating The Future of Energy Distribution panel on September 24. I hope you’ll join me for these engaging conversations.”

Women Empowered

One important issue featured at the conference is not about products or technology at all, but about the value of encouraging women colleagues in our solar industry. According to the 2019 diversity study produced by The Solar Foundation (an effort supported by BayWa r.e.), while women make up 47% of the overall U.S. workforce, they only make up 26% of our solar workforce.

NABCEP is an important ally in addressing this gap, and I am proud to join Kate Collardson and Rebekah Hren of Airbnb in hosting the “Women in Solar Celebration” scheduled for September 11. We’re excited to network with anyone who seeks to foster inclusive and equitable opportunities in our solar workforce.

“Due to the culture we live in, it often happens that women are talked over in conversations, meetings, and on the job,” says Kate. “Not only is this frustrating, but it also prevents good ideas from coming to fruition. So, I welcome any conversation on the topic during this NABCEP conference month. Let’s figure out a way to have the voices of women heard — without the struggle!”

Reflection 2020 — Foresight 2021

When NABCEP was first scheduled for March 2020, the industry conversation was centered around forecasts for the coming year. How the world has changed since then.

But solar isn’t going anywhere — and neither are you, our #SolarFam. And while we won’t be in the same conference halls together, NABCEP 2020 will still be an occasion to cheer. We’ve all hung on, six months into this pandemic, and we have more to do as an industry to care for our team members, our communities, and our solar future.

Let’s strengthen our community — and enjoy this September’s conference! See you all online.

Wednesday, September 9

Roofing Considerations for Solar Installations – Round Table Discussion
11:00 a.m. – 11:20 a.m. Eastern
Join Kate Collardson at this table of industry experts.

Thursday, September 10

Cradle to Grave: Managing PV System Life Cycles – Panel Discussion
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Join Kate Collardson for a discussion on end-of-life considerations for solar systems components.

BayWa r.e. Solar Systems (USA) Exhibitor Booth Showcase
3:30 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. Eastern
Get to know BayWa r.e. Solar Systems (USA) at this information session.

Friday, September 11

Women in Solar Celebration
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. Eastern
Meet Christine Owens and Kate Collardson as they help host this year’s discussion on encouraging support and career development for women in the solar industry.

Monday, September 21

Engineering PV to Withstand the Weather: Structural Considerations for PV Installations in Wind & Snow
12:40 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. Eastern
Earn 2 CEU credits when you attend this session moderated by Kate Collardson.

Tuesday, September 22

Understanding Energy Storage Solutions as a System – Panel Discussion
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Earn 2 CEU credits when you attend this session moderated by Aaron Bingham.

Thursday, September 24

The Future of Energy Distribution – Panel Discussion
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Earn 2 CEU credits when you attend this session moderated by Christine Owens.

Christine Owens is the Vice President of Marketing at BayWa r.e. Solar Systems (USA). With careers stops spanning energy and software companies and advocacy experience in Washington DC, she has been providing strategy insights and communications expertise to CXO-level executives for more than 25 years.
BayWa r.e. Solar Systems LLC supplies solar installers in the United States with best-in-class components, business planning advice, and a community of experts. Learn more at www.solar-distribution.com, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, subscribe to our podcasts and YouTube, and bookmark our COVID-19 resource page. Part of the BayWa r.e. global family of renewable energy companies.