Nigeria's solar sector is gaining remarkable momentum as companies look to reduce high electricity costs.
At Daystar, we're rapidly expanding our solar installations to meet rising demand.
Yet, there is one challenge: Nigeria has a shortage of skilled solar technicians.
Our crew of 16-20 technicians takes six weeks to complete a 1MW installation. But even with our in-house project team running at full throttle, it's just not enough to keep pace with booming demand.
In response, we've created a third-party solar installers training program. The program gives participants the skills to install solar systems expertly and on time while adhering to safety protocols.
The program is in line with our goal to achieve 400MW of installed solar capacity across Africa by 2025, an eightfold increase compared to our current capacity.
We launched our training program in August, and the results have been promising.
We've conducted four successful sessions with 3rd party instructors—one each in Abuja and Port Harcourt, and two in Lagos—training a total of 120 installers. And we're just getting started.
Addressing the Skilled Technical Staff Shortage
We realized our installation sites were experiencing a shortage of experienced workers, which was affecting our project timelines.
Our solar panel installations rely on precise design blueprints. Installers must meticulously align rails on both the x-axis and y-axis of solar mounts and align the L-feet, clamps that attach solar panels to the roof.
Yet, we noticed our installers struggled to keep to the installation standards which slowed down the installation time.
The lack of qualified solar technicians stymies the growth of Nigeria's solar industry. Without well-trained technicians, the quality of installations may be compromised, leading to diminished performance.
Equipping Solar Installers for Success
Having seen first-hand the gap in skills, we set out to create a comprehensive curriculum for third-party installers.
Our training program is divided into two segments:
1. Technical Training
Participants gain the technical know-how for successful solar installations. Topics covered include how to install and align solar rooftop mounting systems, install L-feet, and attach solar panels with the correct torque.
2. Health and Safety
Safety is paramount in the solar industry, and we leave no room for compromise. Specialized training in roof safety is a core component of our program.
Solar panel installation on roofs and elevated surfaces can be risky, as installers are at risk of falling off roofs or falling into skylights. We've implemented a rigorous safety protocol. Every Daystar technician must undergo safety training and obtain an induction card before setting foot on any site.
Our health and safety training also extends to cover electrical safety, ladder use, and basic first aid.
Objectives of the Training Program
With our training program, we look to contribute to creating a pool of skilled technical talent in Nigeria’s renewable energy sector. We want to provide an avenue for individuals to gain proper training to eventually work on other projects as contractors.
By the end of our program, we intend to achieve several key objectives:
- Enhance the reliability of solar installations by adhering to best industry practice
- Prioritize safety to eliminate on site accidents
- Develop capacity to meet high demand for solar
- Support job creation within the renewable energy sector
- Guarantee quality assurance in solar installations
Our program is open to all. There are no prerequisites; we welcome university graduates, HND, and OND holders—anyone with a tertiary certificate is eligible.
Our instructors are experienced instructors who are passionate about solar energy and are intent on providing participants with the knowledge and skills they need to become successful solar installers.
Creating a Solar Technician Talent Pool
We look to play our part in cultivating a highly skilled technical workforce for Nigeria's rapidly growing solar industry.
If you're a solar installer seeking to enhance your technical skills, we invite you to consider applying to our program. Get in touch with us today and become a part of this training opportunity tailored for third-party installers.