BC's Indigenous Public Post-Secondary Institute

Renewable Energies Technology Diploma Program

Program Delivery Location: Merritt
Credential: Diploma
Format: Full-Time, Part-Time
Start Dates: September, January

Renewable Energies Technology Diploma Program

The Renewable Energies Technology program is focused on the primary practical applications of Renewable Energy and will appeal to individuals seeking formal training to enable them to enter the Renewable Energies field as employees or entrepreneurs. The program delivers the foundational knowledge in the relevant electrical, electronic and mechanical disciplines that are required in the Renewable Energies sector. A number of Renewable Energy solutions and applications are emerging in our current environment, therefore, the Renewable Energies Technology Program is designed to address more than one renewable energy technology. The program will give the student a solid foundation in the science as well as the design and installation techniques required to work with various Renewable Energy solutions. Included components will be Solar Energy, Wind Turbines, Biomass Energy and Geothermal Energy Systems. The best industry practices of health, safety and environmental conservation will play an integral role in all of the courses delivered within the program including complete safety training for working at heights and confined spaces. The program will also introduce the general concepts associated with global climate change and the practicalities associated with sustainable energy including conservation techniques. By the completion of the program, students will have gained experience and knowledge enabling them to perform site assessments for Wind and Photovoltaic Energy projects with the ability to integrate the same with current existing energy sources. Graduates will have an in-depth working knowledge of current practice in the installation, commissioning and routine maintenance and repair of Photovoltaic and Wind Turbine generating systems enabling them to function effectively in the utility scale Wind Turbine and Solar Photovoltaic industries.

Admission Requirements 

  • BC secondary school graduation or equivalent, or 19 years of age and out of secondary school for at least one year as of the first day of classes.

  • One of: English 12, English 12 First Peoples, Technical and Professional Communications (TPC) 12, an equivalent Provincial Level Adult Basic Education English course, or equivalent assessment.

  • Minimum Math required: Students graduating from secondary school in or prior to 2012: Mathematics 11 or an equivalent Advanced Level Adult Basic Education Mathematics course, or an equivalent assessment. Students entering Grade 10 in or after 2010 and/or completing the new mathematics curriculum: One of: Apprenticeship and Workplace Mathematics 11, Foundations of Mathematics 11 or, Pre-Calculus 11, or an equivalent Advanced Level Adult Basic Education Mathematics course or an equivalent assessment.


  • The Department Head may, in exceptional circumstances, admit applicants who are lacking certain program admission requirements, provided that the applicant can demonstrate s/he has a good chance of succeeding in the program.

  • NVIT is committed to ensuring education is accessible to all people. Students who do not meet program requirements should contact the Department Head or an NVIT Academic Planner regarding upgrading opportunities.

Certificate Completion Plan
  • COMM-140 - Technical Writing
  • COOP-101 - Co-operative Education Workplace Preparation
  • ENRT-141 - Aboriginal People and the Land
  • RNET-100 - Renewable Energy Safety
  • RNET-101 - Safe Work Practices
  • RNET-110 - Electrical Theory
  • RNET-113 - Mathematics for Electronics I
  • RNET-114 - Mathematics for Electronics II
  • RNET-115 - Applied Electrical Techniques
  • RNET-120 - Renewable Energy Wiring Practices
  • RNET-121 - Renewable Energy Wiring Techniques
  • RNET-130 - Wind Turbine Systems
  • RNET-131 - Practical Hydraulics
  • Diploma Completion Plan
  • RNET-220 - Motor Controls & Automation Theory
  • RNET-221 - Applied Motor Skills
  • RNET-235 - Wind Turbine Maintenance
  • RNET-236 - Wind Turbine Maintenance Techniques
  • RNET-240 - Programmable Logic Controllers
  • RNET-241 - Programmable Logic Controllers Applications
  • RNET-250 - Intro to Small Business Concepts
  • RNET-260 - Alternative Energy Generation Methods II
  • RNET-270 - Photovoltaic Systems
  • RNET-271 - Applied Photovoltaic Techniques
  • RNET-280 - Computer Aided Design for Mim
  • Course Listing for this program

    COMM-140 - Credits: 3.000
    Technical Writing
    This course will provide students with the skills necessary to write technical papers as clearly, accurately, and succinctly as possible. Students will learn how to take accurate field notes, the difference between primary and secondary source information, and learn how to research and read technical papers. A major component of the course will focus on writing a research and review paper. More Details on this course
    Corequisites: ENRT 170
    COOP-101 - Credits: 1.000
    Co-operative Education Workplace Preparation
    This course will assist Co-operative Education participants in developing workplace essential skills. The topics will include: time management, thinking, working with others, continuous learning, resumes, cover letters, and interview skills. In addition, the students will explore professionalism, practice job interview techniques and research job opportunities. They will become familiar with the expectations of NVIT and the employer while on a Co-op work-term. Students registered in diploma and degree programs can access the course during the Winter Academic Semester (1.5 hours per week) and/or Summer Session as a six-week concentration. In addition, this course may be offered as a one-week intensive for Trades such as the Professional Chef Level 1 program. Co-op Education credits/courses are extra-to-certificate, diploma or degree. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Completion of one academic term attaining a minimum GPA 2.33, full-time status, submission of resume
    ENRT-141 - Credits: 5.000
    Aboriginal People and the Land
    Resource developments that occur throughout BC often encompass Aboriginal Traditional Territory. With landmark cases such as Calder, Sparrow and Delgamuukw, Aboriginal people are asserting their right to be included in decisions made about resource development. Natural Resource Technologists who may find themselves working within Aboriginal Traditional Territories need to understand that any decisions they may make regarding resource development could infringe on Aboriginal rights and title. This course will explore the history and perspectives of Aboriginal people toward resource development in Canada, the laws governing resource development and their implications to Aboriginal people and the future of resource development in Canada. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Program admission/instructor permission
    RNET-100 - Credits: 3.000
    Renewable Energy Safety
    Upon successful completion of this course, the student will acquire skills utilizing the methods and procedures to safely work in the wind power and solar photovoltaic power generation industries. Students will gain awareness of the mechanical and electrical hazards commonly associated with a renewable energy installation. Students will receive training in the appropriate use of fall arrest equipment and arc flash and arc blast personal protective equipment; Lock-Out Tag-Out procedures; WHIMIS fundamentals; and to safely work in confined spaces. Students will also learn appropriate communication with team members while moving and hoisting equipment through hand signals and basic radio communication. The causes and results of workplace accidents and injuries including common adjunct activities such as safe driving will be reviewed. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET Program Admission
    RNET-101 - Credits: 1.000
    Safe Work Practices
    This course introduces the student to the accepted techniques commonly used to eliminate and/or control hazards related to potential injury/illness in the renewable energy industry. Specifically, this course will begin the process of creating a safety culture that will prepare the student to work safely with electricity and outline the procedures for safe climbing methods and working at heights. Students will gain awareness of and practice various electrical safety protocols including protection from Arc Flash and Arc Blast, as well as, Lock Out/Tag Out procedures and Fire Safety and containment. Students will perform equipment maintenance on climbing and fall-arrest gear; cover the proper use of various PPE and other safety related gear when working on Renewable Energy generation systems and be provided with basic training in the use of lift equipment. Students will become proficient in the application of the Occupational Health & Safety Act & the associated regulations. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET Program Admission
    RNET-110 - Credits: 6.000
    Electrical Theory
    This course explores the principles of Electricity and Electronics as applied to Renewable Energy technologies. This course will present an in-depth introduction into the use of various tools and test equipment found in the Renewable Energy field including their proper use. Safe working practices are emphasized throughout. The course will provide the foundational knowledge related to wind energy and solar photovoltaic power generation. The course involves an in-depth coverage of AC and DC circuit theory including common sources of conventional power generation techniques contrasted with current methods of power generation using wind turbine and photovoltaic system technologies and their supporting systems. Additionally, there will be an introduction to semiconductor devices and basic digital electronics. The semiconductor devices are applied to analog circuitry including power supplies, transistor switching and amplifier circuits. This course works in tandem with RNET 115. i.e. it is not possible to complete the practical component without the theory and conversely it is not possible to fully understand the presented concepts in the theory component without completing the associated practical assignments. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET Program Admission
    Corequisites: RNET-115
    RNET-113 - Credits: 2.000
    Mathematics for Electronics I
    This course is the first of two courses that teach students the fundamental concepts of mathematics required to understand the theory of electricity and electronics. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET Program Admission
    RNET-114 - Credits: 2.000
    Mathematics for Electronics II
    This course is the second of two courses that teach students the fundamental concepts of mathematics required to understand the theory of electricity and electronics. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET-113
    RNET-115 - Credits: 2.000
    Applied Electrical Techniques
    This course covers the proper use of test equipment as applied to A/C and D/C circuits with an emphasis on capacitive, inductive, magnetic, electromagnet, semiconductor and digital circuits. Emphasis is also placed on the basics of electrical measurement and interpretation as applied to power generation with acceptable procedures explained and practiced. Students will become proficient in the interpretation and construction of common electrical and electronic circuits. Practical lab exercises will develop hands-on troubleshooting skills. The student is also introduced to proper mechanical and electrical component interconnections, common wire types and their uses and the ability to solder them to a high standard of reliability. This course works in tandem with RNET 110. i.e. it is not possible to complete the practical component without the theory and conversely it is not possible to fully understand the presented concepts in the theory component without completing the associated practical assignments. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET Program Admission
    Corequisites: RNET-110
    RNET-120 - Credits: 3.000
    Renewable Energy Wiring Practices
    Students will study electrical wiring diagrams and design basic electrical distribution systems. Students will continue to expand on their knowledge and skills learned in Renewable Energy Electricity to encompass proper and safe tool usage, and electrical circuit design, testing and troubleshooting. Whereas electrical installers and maintainers are responsible for adherence to the Canadian Electrical Code in order mitigate electrical fire and shock hazards, excellent Code knowledge is a prerequisite to the correct installation and layout of equipment and wiring to specification. This course will cover accurate interpretations and applications of said Electrical Code as applied to wiring systems, grounding and bonding, protection and control, motors, lines and substations, explosion proof areas, and emergency systems. The main objective is to enhance the students' knowledge of Section 64 of the Canadian Electrical Code related to renewable energy equipment. The course concludes with coverage of modern electrical distribution systems metering methods used by utilities, electrical energy consumption by type of loads and their effects on distribution frequency and voltage together with a review of circuit protection devices. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET-110 / RNET Program Admission
    Corequisites: RNET-121
    RNET-121 - Credits: 1.500
    Renewable Energy Wiring Techniques
    This course will provide students with practical wiring exercises involving installation, wiring, and troubleshooting of electrical devices and equipment used in, but not specific to, wind turbine and solar photovoltaic control systems. Related topics include safety, mechanical design, component installation, mounting configurations, system start-up, and system maintenance. Students will complete wiring projects which will develop their workmanship and familiarity with the Canadian Electrical Code as it applies to industrial electrical installations. Projects will focus on electrical power distribution techniques as well as some control system wiring incorporating components such as relays, control transformers, motors, starters and electronic devices. They will also identify and demonstrate raceway installations and their associated wiring methods. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET-110 / RNET Program Admission
    Corequisites: RNET-120
    RNET-130 - Credits: 5.000
    Wind Turbine Systems
    In this course students learn fundamental conceptsof hydraulics and mechanical systems and theirsupporting role in wind turbine operation including the physics of energy, work and power as well as lubrication and bearing technology. This course will introduce students to the basic structure and application of hydraulics including how to read hydraulic schematics and troubleshoot basic hydraulic components and systems. Included will be the theory of hydraulics, types of fluids, filtration, conductors and seals, reservoirs, hydraulic actuators, control valves and pumps. Trainees will possess the ability to read engineering prints and be able to interpret hydraulic schematic symbols. The course will also serve as an introduction to the fundamentals of mechanical power. It emphasizes learning the different mechanical components from nuts and bolts to gears, gear boxes, shafts and bearings. It demonstrates the importance of lubrication in maintaining gears and other movable parts. Basic alignment and mechanical physics are taught. Also included will be coverage of correct use of hand and power tools, standard mechanical work practices, fastener selection and application, bearing types and lubrication techniques as well as mechanical troubleshooting techniques. Power transmission theory and practice as applied to the repair and maintenance of industrial machinery will also be covered. Included topics are gear and gear drive components, equipment alignment and preventive maintenance. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET Program Admission
    Corequisites: RNET-131
    RNET-131 - Credits: 2.000
    Practical Hydraulics
    This course builds on the information taught in Wind Turbine Systems. This course is designed to provide the student with the fundamental skills required to repair and maintain mechanical and hydraulic systems associated with Wind Turbines. This course will also provide the student the opportunity to properly use the various shop toolsfound in the Renewable Energy field and theirproper use. Disassembling and reassembling various hydraulic and mechanical components will also becovered. The student will fully understand the operation, troubleshooting and maintenance of hydraulic systems. The reading and interpretation of schematic drawings will form a large part of the above understanding. All theoretical concepts covered in Wind Turbine Systems is reinforced by practical lab work. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET Program Admission
    Corequisites: RNET-130
    RNET-220 - Credits: 5.000
    Motor Controls & Automation Theory
    This course takes a comprehensive look at various control devices found in modern control systems as well as industrial sensors and transducers. Students will interpret wiring and ladder diagrams, be introduced to NEMA symbols as well as be able to demonstrate the operation of common control devices. Electric motors, motor controls and their protection devices are studied. Advantages and disadvantages of the various types of motors and their control devices are surveyed. All motor control circuits studied are duplicated by the student in the practical lab sections of the course (RNET 221). The course also introduces electronic control theory. Processes to be controlled and types of systems & methods available to perform control functions are examined. Applications of semiconductor & digital circuits to automation systems are explored. The course also surveys the electronic control of AC motors in industrial situations requiring variable frequency drives. Additional advanced motor control concepts such as time delay circuitry and system feedback are covered. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET Program Admission
    Corequisites: RNET-221
    RNET-221 - Credits: 2.000
    Applied Motor Skills
    The course represents the practical component (Lab) of motor controls and automated systems. In this phase of the program of study the student builds simulated motor control circuits as well as automated control systems. Numerous troubleshooting assignments form a large part of the course. Electrical Safety will be stressed. The course concludes with the coverage of feedback control systems, servo systems and networking principles and protocols as applied to renewable energy systems. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET Program Admission
    Corequisites: RNET-220
    RNET-235 - Credits: 5.000
    Wind Turbine Maintenance
    This course represents an immersion in the practices of the Wind Turbine industry regarding planning, site preparation, foundation installation, tower construction, nacelle installation, blade installation and commissioning of wind turbines. This course exposes the student to the various mechanical components used to control turbine operation, which includes a comprehensive survey of the current technologies and systems to effect YAW control, pitch control, braking systems, emergency egress equipment and their supporting systems. There will be coverage of the concepts and operation of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems as they apply to the wind energy industry. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET CORE Year 1
    Corequisites: RNET-236
    RNET-236 - Credits: 2.500
    Wind Turbine Maintenance Techniques
    Wind turbine mechanical and electrical theory is put into practice through the units of this course. Units are primarily laboratory based activities requiring trainees to demonstrate mastery of concepts related to wind turbine maintenance. Further mechanical topics centre around lubrication, torqueing tools and techniques, jacking, stretching tools, pullers, leverage techniques, helical, herringbone and planetary gear sets, shafts, coupling types, power transmission systems, clutches, brakes, slings, spreader bars, lifting techniques, vibration analysis and predictive failure analysis using a variety of modern techniques. The course will include coverage of the skill sets necessary to perform inspections and repairs on a variety of blade materials and rotors used on modern wind turbine systems. Common turbine technician tasks are practiced from start to finish with work based on actual service manuals, inspections, disassembly and assembly of components, performance of routine maintenance tasks, and collection of documentation and submission of service reports. Mastery of skill competencies will be measured by instructors and proctors of the practical skill assessments. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET CORE Year 1
    Corequisites: RNET-235
    RNET-240 - Credits: 3.000
    Programmable Logic Controllers
    An introductory course in Programmable Logic Controllers designed to provide the underlying knowledge and skills required to comprehend, program and troubleshoot PLC control systems as applied to Renewable Energy systems. PLC theory is studied as well as programming techniques in ladder logic. Numerous practical problems are assigned. Troubleshooting techniques are emphasized. Control diagrams, programming languages and control circuits will be incorporated. The course also details what is available in PLC control; PLC operation; where and why PLCs are used, common applications and interfacing of equipment. The course takes a fundamental approach to the use of the RSLogix programming platform. It begins with an overview of the architecture and migrates to an introduction of RSLogix5000, the selected programming environment for this course. Students will receive a basic understanding of the structure of a PLC program including an introductory look at Program Files and Data Files. Also included is a section on RSLinx, which will facilitate the students going online and downloading to a PLC processor. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET CORE Year 1
    Corequisites: RNET-241
    RNET-241 - Credits: 1.500
    Programmable Logic Controllers Applications
    This course permits the student to apply the knowledge acquired in the PLC Theory course. Students will be able to design, program, debug and implement a wide variety of PLC programs with applications that include PanelVue displays. Upon completion, students will be able to interpret control diagrams and efficiently translate them into working PLC programs utilizing the Ladder Logic programming language. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET CORE Year 1
    Corequisites: RNET-240
    RNET-250 - Credits: 3.000
    Intro to Small Business Concepts
    This introductory course will examine some of the theoretical concepts and practical experiences necessary for effectively running a small business. A wide variety of topics such as the social and ethical responsibility of a contemporary business, the importance of human resource and financial resource management, and the current trends in Canadian business will be studied. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET CORE Year 1
    RNET-260 - Credits: 3.000
    Alternative Energy Generation Methods II
    This course will be a continuation of the study of alternative energy technologies and methods on the fringe and far less ubiquitous than large scale wind and solar photovoltaic power generation. Topics that will be addressed will include geothermal energy, produced from the heat of the earth; hydrogen fuel cell technology; tidal and wave action power production, as well as, crucial aspects of energy storage innovations taking place that are necessary for the future of renewable energy power generation. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET CORE Year 1
    RNET-270 - Credits: 5.000
    Photovoltaic Systems
    This course covers the comprehensive knowledge required to site, design and install photovoltaic (PV) systems. The course includes assessment techniques for sizing systems for both grid-connected and off-grid PV systems. Coverage will include the analysis of the solar resource, the problems associated with shading and what is the best orientation and tilt for PV arrays. Further discussion will continue surrounding the sizing, configuration and design of systems to serve a given electrical load. An emphasis will be placed on system specifications, mounting styles and equipment selection including parts lists, electrical and mechanical design, schematics and related documentation. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET Program Admission
    Corequisites: RNET-271
    RNET-271 - Credits: 1.500
    Applied Photovoltaic Techniques
    In this course students will become familiar with popular roof styles and the mitigation of roofing systems after penetration by Photovoltaic mounting hardware. A review of safety practices for installers and Electrical Code applications along with the attributes of various mounting systems for PV arrays and how they affect roofs will also be covered. Students will have the opportunity to actually install a PV system utilizing correct mounting components for the system application. Students will be able to undertake all aspects of the activities associated with photovoltaic system maintenance and troubleshooting. Also included will be the applications of solar systems, the market for solar energy including efficiency, costs, and conservation. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET Program Admission
    Corequisites: RNET-270
    RNET-280 - Credits: 2.000
    Computer Aided Design for Mim
    This course is designed to introduce the student to two and three dimensional CAD (Computer Aided Design) using Solidworks 2014 software. Topics will include: set up of user interface, file management, creating and editing two dimensional sketch geometry, creating solid models, analyzing and editing geometry and creating engineering drawings. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: RNET Program Admission

    Current Course Offerings

    01 = Merritt Campus
    V1 = Burnaby Campus

    Spring 2024 (January - April)

  • COMM-140-01
  • Summer 2024 (May - August)

  • COOP-101-01
  • Fall 2024 (September - December)

  • ENRT-141-01
  • Spring 2025 (January - April)

  • COMM-140-01

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