Noor Shahiwan (Iwan) of SunCrox Solar in Malaysia, was one of 30 brought to the US as part of the program. He learned from and networked with companies around southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Mark Bortman, of Yardley-based Exact Solar, connected with Iwan during his weeks in the Philadelphia area. The two shared their knowledge of each country’s solar energy market challenges and unique design requirements.
Iwan was able to experience installations in real time. He saw firsthand how Pennsylvania climatic conditions and U.S. regulations require different solar component selections and system designs compared to Malaysia.
In reciprocation, Mark has been invited as the only solar energy industry representative, for a two-week mission to Southeast Asia, including spending time in Malaysia with Iwan.
No stranger to helping developing markets, Mark has installed solar systems in Central America in the past.
According to Mark, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to share knowledge and experience with a motivated and bright counterpart in another region of the world. I’m especially excited to experience and learn how a tropical nation halfway across the globe is addressing unique challenges and growing as an emerging solar market. Most importantly, I get a chance to share lessons learned after a decade of building our solar energy installation company. I’m proud to represent Pennsylvania and the U.S. this way.”
The U.S. State Department YSEALI program is designed to connect motivated people aged 25-35 with American counterparts in individually tailored work placements.
Not only does this give them the opportunity to spend time in the United States, it exposes them to the workings of non-profit organizations, state and local government, and private-sector enterprises across the country.
PHOTO CAP: Noor Shahiwan (left) and Mark Bortman