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Solar power is a growing industry, and one which can benefit not only America as a whole but also those who work in the electric industry. The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) have partnered in order to make innovative and positive changes to the solar industry, and a perfect example of the kind of change they’re effecting can be seen through the new solar roof on top of the parking garage at the Barnes Jewish College (BJC) Hospital. 

Through the NECA/IBEW partnership, uniquely-suited contractors are now able to gain control of major projects and run them in such a way that they have a positive impact on many different groups of people. Sachs Electric won the bid as the primary contractor for the solar project at BJC Hospital due to their unique electrical background and their 20 years of experience in the solar industry. 

Thanks to this unique partnership, there are a multitude of benefits to many different groups, including new project opportunities for NECA and more man-hours for IBEW. Additionally, this project has brought about a partnership between Ameren (an electric services company located in St. Louis, Missouri) and BJC Hospital, providing a multitude of benefits to the hospital itself, as well as the added perk of offering renewable energy to customers of Ameren. 

The project is a large one, including 4,500 solar panels which produce an average of 200,000 megawatts of solar energy each month. Additionally, because of the complexity of this project, there are several different safety classifications which come into play. While this may seem like a complication, it is, in fact, another benefit. Thanks to the different safety classifications, this project has attracted many interns and less-experienced electrical workers who are eager to bring forth their innovative and creative new ideas on their way to becoming journeymen (i.e., electricians who have acquired the training and experience necessary to work independently).

The true beauty of the BJC solar project is surrounding the idea of partnership, and SACHS is bringing everyone together in order to highlight everyone’s priorities. They are working with Ameren’s requirements for interconnection as well as BJC’s requirements for the parking garage while also focusing on safety. 

NECA and IBEW are powering America. They are “working smarter, adapting to change, and, going forward, being the best workforce possible. That’s the NECA/IBEW powering America team.”