Solar Energy Technology Associate Degree

Program Code: 104824

The Solar Energy Technology program provides installers, designers, and technical sales personnel the skills to assess sites; design systems; an install, operate, and maintain solar electric and solar thermal systems for residential and commercial applications in the growing renewable energy industry. Potential employment possibilities will be with existing solar, electrical and mechanical contractors to help expand their offerings of solar energy technologies. Other possible areas of employment are with energy consulting firms, design firms and utilities. With additional education and experience, graduates can expand their careers to energy analyst, journeyperson electrician/plumber, project manager, energy engineer, and environmental consultant.

Follow Your Path

All credits from the following certificate(s) apply toward this associate degree:
• Renewable Energy-Solar Electric, 904821
• Renewable Energy-Solar Thermal, 904822


Employment Potential

A graduate of the program will have the potential for employment for diverse employers, such as renewable energy businesses, energy companies, equipment supply companies, oil and gas field service companies and utilities in the following areas:

• Solar Electric Energy Technician: designs, estimates, installs, troubleshoots, repairs and modifies residential and/or commercial solar electric systems.

• Solar Site Assessor: conducts facility energy audit/assessments; is responsible for making recommendations regarding solar energy systems. Prepares cost estimates, energy analysis; is accountable for building long-term customer relationships.

• Solar Sales Representative: provides consultations and assessments to potential customers. Manages the pipeline of contacts and opportunities within an assigned territory and deliver compelling presentations. Acts as the project manager for installation of systems and coordination of closeout.

With additional education and/or work experience, graduates may find other opportunities for employment.

• Energy Analyst
• Plumber or Electrician Journeyperson
• Project Manager
• Energy Engineer
• Environmental Consultant


Requirements for Program Entry

• Completed application.
• High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to
• To be admitted to this program, learners must achieve a prior cumulative high school or college grade point average of 2.6 or higher OR a satisfactory academic skills assessment score. College grade point average must be based on 15 credits or more. To learn more about starting this program, please contact an academic advisor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.

Program Availability

FULL TIMESpring 2018Summer 2018Fall 2018
Green Bay

Application Checklist

Students following the study plan below will complete the Solar Energy Technology associate degree in the number of semesters shown.
10442150 INDUSTRIAL WELDING SKILL DEVELOPMENT ...Industry defined competency/skill development facilitation adhering to current standards, facilities and equipment as required by the defined process involved.
10-480-101 ENERGY-INTRO RENEW & SUSTAIN overview of various renewable energy technologies and sustainable design practices and their current applications. Emphasis will be placed on policies, renewable energy production, green products and jobs.
10-482-126 INTRODUCTION TO SOLAR overview of the use of sunlight to produce heat and electricity and the practical and economical use of solar power and solar thermal systems. Learn the importance of energy efficiency and the economics of solar hybrid designs.
10-620-100 BASIC PNEUMATICS ...what fluid power is, differentiate between hydraulics and pneumatics, implement basic pneumatic circuits, utilize schematics, apply Pascal's law, define properties of fluids, implement air flow control and hydraulic cylinder circuits.
10-620-101 BASIC HYDRAULICS ...hydraulic pumps, basic hydraulic actuator circuits, hydraulic schematics, apply Pascal's law, summarize the effects of fluid friction, define properties of hydraulic energy, design hydraulic circuits with directional control valves.
10-660-104 DC 1: INTRODUCTION ...introduction to the concepts of DC electricity and simple series circuits. Voltage, current, resistance, Ohm's Law, power and Kirchoff's Voltage Law are defined.
10-660-105 DC 2: CIRCUITS ...analysis of parallel and series-parallel circuits. Application of Kirchoff's Current Law to parallel circuit combinations. Introduction of current sources and source conversions. (Corequisites: 10-804-118, Interim Algebra w Apps OR 10-804-113, College Tech Math 1A; 10-660-104, DC 1: Intro)
10-804-113 COLLEGE TECHNICAL MATH 1A ...topics include solving linear, quadratic, and rational equations; graphing; formula rearrangement; solving systems of equations; percent; proportions; and operations on polynomials. Emphasis will be on the application of skills to technical problems. (Prerequisite: Cumulative GPA above 2.6 or satisfactory reading and math assessment scores OR 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 with "B" or better OR the appropriate Corequisite/s: 10-831-102, English Composition Prep; 10-834-102, Fundamentals of Math)
10-890-101 COLLEGE 101 ...presents learners with exposure to the language of responsibility with an emphasis on two tracks-soft (employability) and learning skills to enhance lifelong learning in academic, career, and personal settings. Course curriculum provides application and reflection of On Course strategies and vocabulary emphasizing the value of a growth mindset. Students should take this course during the first semester of college.
10-482-132 PHOTOVOLTAICS-DESIGN & SITE ...learn steps to performing a site audit prior to installation of a PV system. Focus on defining the solar window, system site placement, system sizing and design, load analysis and energy efficiency concepts. (Prerequisite: 10-482-126, Intro to Solar)
10-620-140 MACHINE WIRING AND SAFETY ...introduction to machine wiring, including basic documentation, labeling, and wiring practices; an overview of NFPA 70 machinery, safety and installation standards.
10-660-101 DIGITAL 1: LOGIC ...AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR, logic operation using switch logic, ladder logic, and gate logic. Simplification methods using Boolean theorems and Karnaugh Maps, and timing diagram analysis.
10-660-102 DIGITAL 2: SEQUENTIAL ...operation and connection of latches, RS flip-flops, JK flip-flops, and D flip-flops using timing diagram analysis, and some simple applications are studied. (Corequisite: 10-660-101, Digital 1: Logic)
10-660-107 AC 1: PROPERTIES ...introduction to the properties of capacitors and inductors including types and behavior in switching circuits. Inductor basics include a study of magnetic fields. (Prerequisite: 10-660-105, DC 2: Circuits; Corequisite: 10-804-196, Trigonometry w Apps OR 10-804-114, College Tech Math 1B)
10-660-108 AC 2: REACTANCE of the way inductive, capacitive and resistive components behave in a circuit excited by a sine waveform. Effective and average values of the sinewave are derived. (Corequisite: 10-660-107, AC 1: Properties)
10-660-110 ELECTRONICS 1: DIODES-BASIC ...introduction to the characteristics and usage of semiconductor diodes in rectifiers and linear power supplies. Special diodes and diode circuits are also considered. (Prerequisite: 10-660-105, DC 2: Circuits; Corequisite: 10-660-107, AC 1: Properties)
10-664-100 AUTOMATION 1: CONTROL LOGIC ...electric motor control components such as switches, relays, starters, transformers; and safely mount and install motor and motor control components and perform related wiring and troubleshooting of motor control circuits.
10-664-101 AUTOMATION 2: MOTOR CONTROL ...electric motor control components such as sensors, timers and counters. (Corequisite: 10-664-100, Automation 1: Control Logic)
10-804-114 COLLEGE TECHNICAL MATH 1B ...topics include: measurement systems; computational geometry; right and oblique triangle trigonometry; and trigonometric functions on the unit circle. Emphasis will be on the application of skills to technical problems. (Prerequisite: Cumulative GPA above 2.6 or satisfactory reading and math assessment scores OR 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 with "B" or better OR the appropriate Corequisite/s: 10-831-102, English Composition Prep; 10-834-107, Intro to Algebra)
10-806-143 COLLEGE PHYSICS 1 ...presents the applications and theory of basic physics principles. This course emphasizes problem solving, laboratory investigation and applications. Topics include laboratory safety, unit conversions and analysis, kinematics, dynamics, work, energy, power, temperature, and heat. (Prerequisites: Cumulative GPA of 2.6 or greater; satisfactory math and reading assessment scores; OR 10-834-107, Intro to Algebra or 10-804-113, College Technical Math 1A to satisfy math; 10-831-102, Prep for English Comp to satisfy reading)
10-403-100 BLUEPRINT READING INTRO ...develop the knowledge skills process and understanding of site plans, footings and foundations, floor plans, elevations, below-grade piping, above-grade piping, isometric piping diagrams, schedules and details, electrical floor plans, lighting, ventilating, and air conditioning.
10-481-114 INTRO TO ENERGY MANAGEMENT ...introduces the basic concepts of energy, utility systems and utility rate structures; defines the need for energy management as an integral part of society at all levels. The course will present the various opportunities available to energy management students.
10-482-133 PHOTOVOLTAICS-ADVANCED ...topics include batteries, wiring configurations, system diagramming, National Electrical code, component selection, wiring, safety and system maintenance. (Prerequisites: 10-482-126 Intro to Solar; 10-660-104, DC 1: Intro; 10-660-105, DC 2: Circuits; 10-620-107, AC 1: Properties)
10-483-107 SOLAR THERMAL DESIGN & SITE ...learn steps to performing a site audit prior to installation of a solar thermal system. Focus on defining the solar window, system site placement and sizing, lead analysis and energy efficiency. (Prerequisite: 10-482-126, Intro to Solar)
10-605-157 POWER ELECTRONICS 1: DEVICES ...the device characteristics and applications of thyristors, power transistors, and switching devices.
10-605-158 POWER ELECTRONICS 2: DRIVES ...power circuitry of AC and DC drives and basic setup and application of an industrial DC and AC drives to DC and AC motors. (Corequisite: 10-605-157, Power Electronics 1: Devices)
10-801-136 ENGLISH COMPOSITION 1 ...learners develop knowledge/skills in planning, organizing, writing, editing. Students will also analyze audience/purpose, use elements of research, format documents using standard guidelines, and develop critical reading skills. (Prerequisite: One of the following or the equivalent: Cumulative GPA of 2.6 or greater; satisfactory reading and writing assessment scores OR Corequisite: 10-831-102, English Composition Prep OR Prerequisite: 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 with "B" or better)
10-483-106 SOLAR ADVANCED SYSTEM DESIGN ... troubleshooting and repairing renewable thermal and electric equipment; diagnosing faulty equipment; selecting replacement parts; preparing a detailed work order. (Prerequisites: 10-483-107, Solar Thermal Design & Site; 10-482-132, Photovoltaics-Design & Site; 10-482-133, Photovoltaics-Adv; Corequisite: 10-483-108, Solar Thermal Advanced)
10-483-108 SOLAR THERMAL-ADVANCED ...topics include safety, system design and layout, component selection, mounting collectors, plumbing and insulation copper pipe, storage tank installation, heat exchanger and circulation pump. (Prerequisite: 10-482-126, Intro to Solar)
10-801-197 TECHNICAL REPORTING ...principles of report writing and correspondence, proposals, feasibility reports, progress reports, investigation reports, evaluation reports, meeting reports, memos, and correspondence. (Prerequisite: 10-801-136, English Composition I OR 10-801-195, Written Communication with “C” or better)
10-809-172 INTRO TO DIVERSITY STUDIES...basic American values of justice and equality by teaching vocabulary, history of immigration/conquest, transcultural communication, legal liability, multicultural majority/minority relations, ageism, sexism, gender, sexual orientation, the disabled/ADA. (Prerequisite: Cumulative GPA of 2.6 or greater OR satisfactory reading and writing assessment scores OR 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 with "B" or better OR Corequisite: 10-831-102, English Comp Prep)
10-809-198 INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY ...survey of theoretical foundations of human behavior such as sensation and perception, motivation, emotions, learning, personality, psychological disorders, therapy, stress, and human diversity in personal, social and vocational settings. (Prerequisite: Cumulative GPA of 2.6 or greater OR satisfactory reading and writing assessment scores OR 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 with "B" or better OR Corequisite: 10-831-102, English Comp Prep)
Curriculum Note
. The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an institutional requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements, but must be passed with a C or better.
. Students completing General Studies courses at NWTC must earn a "C" or better in English Composition to enroll in Technical Reporting.
. Students completing College Technical Math 1A must earn a "C" or better to enroll in College Technical Math 1B.

Program Outcomes

• Evaluate the energy use of commercial and residential buildings and perform site assessments for solar electric and solar thermal systems
• Generate technical project proposals and estimates for solar electric and solar thermal systems
• Read and comprehend mechanical blueprints
• Upload and download information from remote and local networks to aid in the operation and maintenance of systems
• Obtain, complete, and understand zoning regulations, building permit, utility intertie connection, and utility distributed generation agreements
• Assist in design, install and maintain solar electric systems
• Assist in design, install and maintain solar thermal systems
• Ensure compliance with the national electrical code
• Provide training to user upon project completion
• Install, troubleshoot, repair and modify mechanical and electrical systems including programmable controllers


Start here. Finish at a four-year.

NWTC transfer programs are offered through collaborative agreements with our four-year college and university partners. See where your associate degree credits will transfer >> EXCLUDEEND


Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Studies staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses. To find out more about which of your program courses may offer an opportunity during this academic year, contact your academic advisor.