Solar PV: Procuring High-Quality and Federally Compliant Modules  

Education Type: 
1 hour
0.2 CEU
Sponsored by: 

DOE Federal Energy Management Program - FEMP

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems should perform safely and reliably for 25-30 years (or more). Among the factors that determine solar PV system performance and longevity, the module is the most critical component. Many factors must be considered when choosing a module, including quality, safety, weather strength ratings (e.g., wind, snow, hail), fire ratings, Buy American Act (BAA) compliance, and others. This training focuses on understanding these factors and on how federal agencies can select a module that best meets its needs and requirements, given what may appear to be competing considerations. In addition to procurement-related factors, the training highlights the fundamentals of how solar PV modules produce electricity and different available cell technologies.


Gerald Robinson, Program Manager, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory  

Gerald Robinson is an Energy manager with over 25 years' experience initiating and completing a broad range of energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable energy system initiatives. Gerald has an extensive track record of innovative yet practical problem solving in both the private and public sectors. Gerald's management experience spans a wide variety of organizations including universities, municipalities, large corporations, non-governmental organizations, and federal agencies. He has gained an extensive knowledge of all phases of project development and implementation including, legal & regulatory, engineering, project finance, audits, system commissioning, specifications writing, construction management and commissioning. Gerald is an ardent customer advocate able to work with a wide variety of stakeholders. He acts in the role of agency technical advocate drawing upon his background not only as an energy manager but also as a plant manager while at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) where he led the university through many multi-million-dollar utility infrastructure modernization and planning projects.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify how a solar PV module produces electricity from sunlight;
  • Recognize the most common solar module technologies in use today and the relative advantages/disadvantages of each;
  • Identify important factors in selecting and procuring a solar PV module;
  • Identify the most common causes and modes of failure.