Renewable Energy Classes & Workshops

Interested in learning more about renewable energies? The Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) offers classes in solar hot water, PV design and installation, and small-scale wind design and installation. To be informed about these and other future renewable energy classes, please fill out our contact form and indicate which topics most interest you. We will send you information on the next available classes when they are scheduled.

Upcoming Classes & Workshops

Intro to Basic Solar Hot Water & Solar Air Heat

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday, September 20th from 8:30am to 12:30pm


Saturday, September 27th from 8:30am to 12:30pm

$95.00 for members
$95.00 for non-members

Class Location
St Paul College
235 Marshall Ave
St. Paul, MN 55102

In joint cooperation, Saint Paul College and the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society are offering an introductory 8-hour course for homeowners and people interested in learning the basics of solar hot water and solar air heat for residential applications.This class will be distributed over two Saturdays, one week apart.


You will learn to evaluate solar site resources, when solar thermal is the right solution, the economics and incentives for solar thermal systems, and system design principles. In 2014 there will be new incentives offered for solar thermal systems that are produced in Minnesota. Rebates are 25% of installed costs, with a $2,500 maximum for residential systems, $5,000 maximum for multi-family residential systems, and $25,000 for commercial systems. Learn more about what this means for you in this class.

  Topics covered:

• evaluating the solar site resource

• economics and incentives

• system design principles

• system components

• system sizing

• solar thermal panels

Meet the Instructor: Ralph Jacobson is a 25-year veteran of solar system installations. He is a materials engineer and is NABCEP certified in both solar PV and solar thermal installation. Ralph is currently involved with developing a strategy for growing the solar industry in Minnesota and developing training programs for the building trades. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association and the owner of Innovative Power Systems.

Click here to Register for this class on the St Paul College website

Photovoltaics 101

Saturday, September 20, 2014

9:00am to 4:00pm

$100.00 for members
$100.00 for non-members

Class Location
Century College
3300 Century Avenue N.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

In joint cooperation, Century College and the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) have developed a new one-day introductory course for homeowners and people interested in learning the basics of how to design a solar photovoltaic (PV) system for residential applications.  The essentials of creating electricity from sunlight are covered.  You will learn to evaluate the solar site resources, when solar PV is the right solution, the economics and incentives for solar PV, and system design principles.  System components, system sizing, PV panels, inverters, grid connected vs. non-grid connected systems and electrical connections, will all be explored.  Whether you're a homeowners with an interest in solar and looking to learn more, or someone who may be interested in entering the solar field, this class will provide you with a good overview of what solar can do for you.


Instructor: Dustin Denison

Please click here to Register on the Century College website

Solar PV Site Assessor Training

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thursday October 2nd  6:00pm-8:00pm

Saturday October 4th   9:00am-3:00pm

Saturday October 11th 9:00am-3:00pm

$285.00 for members
$325.00 for non-members

Class Location
Century College
3300 Century Avenue N.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Participants will learn how to perform a PV site assessment for a home or small business.  The course will cover site assessment tools, load analysis, energy efficiency recommendations, array placement options, basic system sizing, cost estimates, and evaluating existing infrastructure on site.  Participants will learn how to access online tools for solar resources analysis, PV system performance calculators and incentives.

Instructor-assigned fieldwork of approximately five hours is expected for completion of this course. To receive the MREA (Midwest Renewal Energy Association) PV Site Assessor Certificate, you will need to complete this course, two practice site assessments through an $80 mentoring process, pass the written test given by the MREA and pay a $50 exam fee.  After this is completed, you will hold a PV site assessment certificates through the MREA, the only recognized site assessor certificates in this region.  This will allow you to be listed and contacted for work through MREA's website as an independent site assessor.  This hands-on course will cover Photovoltaic Site Assessor 201 as listed on the MREA website.

 The site assessment certificate is a valuable credential that:

      *establishes an entry-level competency that is valuable to employers in the renewable energy field

      *serves as an add-on certificate to other principle skills or credentials in the green jobs industry including system  design, installation, sales, finance, research, and policy

      *is a benchmark in the training and experience required for NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) PV Technical Sales certification.  

You must have taken Photovoltaic 101 before registering for this class.  

If you are a Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) member, you can receive a $40 discount on the course fee. Please contact the Century College registration office at (651) 779-3341 to receive the discounted rate. Become a member of MRES by clicking here.


Please click here to register on the Century College Website!