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Home » » New York Power Authority Partners with ESAMTAC to Lead the Way in Worker Development for Jobs in New York’s Emerging Clean Energy Economy

New York Power Authority Partners with ESAMTAC to Lead the Way in Worker Development for Jobs in New York’s Emerging Clean Energy Economy

Written By Editor on 5/23/23 | 5/23/23


Power Authority Electricians Enrolled as First in the Nation to Be Trained and Certified in Groundbreaking Virtual Reality Experience



WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority has partnered with the Energy Storage and Microgrid Training and Certification Program (ESAMTAC) to establish New York State as a major training hub for workforce development, providing New Yorkers with the tools they need to succeed in the growing clean energy economy. The Power Authority is providing ESAMTAC with $75,000 so that it can deploy a groundbreaking virtual reality experience to train New York energy sector workers in rapidly advancing clean energy technology. NYPA, the first public power utility in the country to participate, will be offering enrollment into the groundbreaking virtual reality training exercise to its qualified union technicians and electricians.


“The Power Authority has a proud history of leveraging our experience, and in particular the expertise of the state’s unionized workforce, to address unique and complex challenges,” said NYPA Acting President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “There is a technological seismic shift in the energy sector underway as New York moves to a clean energy economy and we must help ensure that NYPA—and all New York energy workers—are equipped to meet the challenge.”


The Power Authority’s partnership with ESAMTAC follows landmark legislation enacted by Governor Hochul in the 2023-24 State Budget, which includes authority for NYPA to contribute up to $25 million annually to the Department of Labor (DOL) for workforce development in the renewable energy sector. As interest in energy storage and microgrids continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, New York needs to fully implement a dedicated and technology-savvy workforce training and certification program to meet the demand.


“ESAMTAC provides best in class advanced training including instruction, lab experience and a comprehensive proctored exam specific to the installation and maintenance of energy storage and microgrid systems,” said Bernie Kotlier, ESAMTAC National Co-chair. “We are pleased to partner with the Power Authority to expand the network of ESAMTAC trained & certified union electricians throughout New York to meet market demand. The funding generously provided by the Power Authority will ensure that ESAMTAC training and certification expand in New York and serve as a model for other utility companies throughout the U.S.”


ESAMTAC is expanding from physical labs to now include a virtual reality lab experience that will enable trainees to participate in the course and certification exam completely online, empowering many more electricians—and the organizations that employ them—to become leaders in the field of sustainable energy. The virtual reality training initiative will harness new technology, teach new skills and champion the industry’s highest safety standards. As the market continues to grow and evolve, ESAMTAC will continue to update training and certification materials to ensure that graduates are equipped with the latest skills and knowledge needed to meet the demands of the industry.


The Power Authority will join with ESAMTAC in its ongoing collaboration among market-leading companies, governmental agencies, academic institutions and organized industry. ESAMTAC has been providing advanced training and certification in the safe and effective installation and maintenance of energy storage and microgrid systems to licensed electricians since 2017.


“The IBEW is extremely grateful that NYPA is supporting ESAMTAC. This training is a move toward a virtual reality training experience that will enable this important program to be utilized much more broadly throughout our industry. As new energy generation technologies continue to be deployed across the grid, Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) and microgrids will play a vital role in ensuring electrical reliability,” said Dennis Affinati, IBEW International Vice President. “Adding ESAMTAC training to the already highly skilled IBEW worker will benefit NYPA and the state of New York by ensuring that BESS and microgrid installations, operations, and maintenance will be safe and reliable.”


New York State Department of Labor Commissioner and Climate Action Council Member Roberta Reardon said, “Workforce development remains a high priority to Governor Hochul’s strategic plan to expand New York State’s clean energy economy. This partnership will provide New Yorkers with the skills they need to be successful in a blooming industry that is paving the way for an environmentally responsible future for our great state.”


“Workforce development is a key component of economic growth and job creation,” said Senator Kevin Parker, chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee. “By investing in our workforce, we can help ensure that our communities have the skilled labor they need to thrive and compete in today's global economy.”


“Making the future brighter for all New Yorkers and expanding access to workforce development, the New York Power Authority’s grant to ESAMTAC supports a unique training experience that will help our state’s workers lead the nation in the growing fields of energy storage and microgrid technology,” Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner, chair of the Assembly Labor Committee, said. “I welcome NYPA’s commitment to growing the workforce of tomorrow.”


“Workforce development goes hand in hand with reaching our climate goals, both in ensuring that those currently working in our energy industry are not left behind, and in training the next generation of renewable energy tradespeople, engineers, technicians, and specialists,” said Assemblymember Didi Barrett, chair of the Assembly Energy Committee. “I am pleased to see that the New York Power Authority is leading by example in partnering with the Energy Storage and Microgrid Training and Certification Program by expanding this workforce development program to include groundbreaking virtual reality training. I look forward to supporting other innovative partnerships that recognize the importance of creating jobs and economic opportunities in achieving a just energy transition.”

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