IREC Certified Master Trainer
– Photovoltaic Technologies
Christopher LaForge is the CEO of Great Northern Solar and is a NABCEP certified Photovoltaic Installation Professional. He has been an instructor with the Midwest Renewable Energy Institute since 1993 Teaching advanced Photovoltaic (PV) design and installation and is an IREC Certified Master Trainer (TM) in Photovoltaic Technologies. Christopher was the primary curriculum developer for the MREI Photovoltaic courses at the Institutes inception.
A strong advocate for clean energy production Christopher volunteers with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (board of directors member 2004-2014, Chair of the Nominations Committee-current) and with the Northern Futures Foundation.
Christopher LaForge has been designing, specifying, installing and operating Battery based Solar Electric systems (PV) for over 30 years. LaForge has lived “off-Grid” for over 26 years where he runs his business Great Northern Solar.
LaForge has been training contractors, administrators and officials in the operation of PV systems including those employing storage for over 26 years. In the last 5 years LaForge has been investigating and developing trainings for the application of energy storage in commercial and other large applications.
With the development of Lithium Ion and other advanced battery technologies LaForge has begun to consult and present trainings in battery design and deployment for the commercial market.
In 2016 LaForge developed a hands-on seminar for retrofitting a LiOn storage and energy arbitrage system for a commercial building in Duluth Minnesota. The Hartley Solar Storage Retrofit Seminar walked participants through the design and implementation of the advanced storage system to provide for building resiliency and peak demand load shaving as well and potential other ancillary services for the Hartley Nature Center and Minnesota Power – the site Utility.
This small prototype is beta-testing Energy Arbitrage software that allows the client to choose several operational modes for cost reduction and resiliency.
Most recently LaForge presented “Energy Storage into Renewable Energy Systems” for the North Central Electrical League in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area of Minnesota.