NREL does not offer SAM training courses or certification, but you can find recordings of NREL webinars describing and demonstrating the model's features and NREL publications describing the model algorithms on the website "Videos" and "Publications" pages.

The SAM development team holds free monthly online meetings ("Round Tables") and periodic webinars that you can register for on the Events page.

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are developing courses or training materials involving SAM and would like to discuss collaborating with NREL, or would like to post information here.


The following are descriptions and links to SAM training courses offered by organizations other than NREL.

RMI Energy Transition Academy

The RMI Energy Transition Academy (ETA) provides free online professional development courses on energy-related topics.

  • The System Advisor Model (SAM) course covers modeling photovoltaic and photovoltaic-battery systems in SAM for behind-the-meter and front-of-meter projects. The course is designed for African and island nation ETA fellows, but is a useful introduction for any audience.

Midwest Renewable Energy Association

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is a NABCEP-certified provider of continuing education courses in renewable energy. The MREA offers two online SAM courses for a fee.

Curriculum Materials

The following is a list of teaching materials used for academic courses that involve SAM.

The Pennsylvania State University

Solar Resource Assessment and Economics (EME 810) is a graduate-level course for the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (RESS) Program Solar Option.

Course resources for this and other RESS courses are  Open Educational Resources via Creative Commons Share-Alike 3.0 licensing (per Dutton e-Education Institute at Penn State). Three solar courses are open now for sharing (EME 810, 811, and 812, and AE 868), along with several other key RESS courses are related to policy, technologies, and markets.

University of Wyoming Extension

The following Solar Electric Investment Analysis series was developed by Milton Geiger (University of Wyoming), Eric Romich (Ohio State University), and Benjamin Rashford (University of Wyoming) and is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 license (International) with permission granted to "share, copy, and redistribute the material in any medium or format and adapt, remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose other than commercial, under the following terms: Attribution  You must give the appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use." This series has been also been adapted by John Hay (University of Nebraska).

These materials provide information to help agricultural landowners make informed decisions about investing in photovoltaic power systems for behind-the-meter applications. Each part in the series is a short bulletin focusing on one aspect of the decision-making process. The bulletins cover technical and economic topics. Part 6 is an example using SAM.