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SEI alumni Where are they now? Workshops & Courses What SEI has to offer ... SOLAR ENERGY INTERNATIONAL 2011 training catalog

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Solar Enrgy Training and Classes Catalog 2011


Page 1: Solar Enrgy Training and Classes Catalog 2011

20th anniversary training catalog | 2011 1

SEI alumni Where are they now?

Workshops & CoursesWhat SEI has to offer ...


2011 training catalog •

Page 2: Solar Enrgy Training and Classes Catalog 2011

Solar Energy International | (970) 963-8855 2 20th anniversary training catalog | 2011 3

contents4 welcome

6 update

8 training

18 online campus

20 timeline

22 facilities

26 outreach 28 staying connected 29 mission

30 alumni

32 team

37 members

39 resources




Where were you in 1991?

We were just getting started.

U.S. Dept. of Energy solar PV training in Colorado.

Then Denver Mayor, and now Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper (left) visits our Solar Schoolbus.

Hands-on solar PV training in Costa Rica. renewable energy solar training online courses

sustainability hands-on workshops outreach

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Solar Energy International | (970) 963-8855 4 20th anniversary training catalog | 2011 5

From our chairmanDonald E. Phillipson

Think back to the year 1991. Except for a few vanguard wind farms and solar arrays,

electric grids in the U.S. were fed by power produced almost exclusively from burning coal and natural gas, nuclear fission in reactors, and water flowing through turbines at huge dams. A few scientists were just beginning to express concerns about potential “global warming” caused by human-induced changes in the gases present in the earth’s atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide. Technologically, businesses and individuals were trying out new communications methods called the “Internet” and “cellular telephones.” In this setting, two Colorado Mountain College instructors – Johnny Weiss and Ken Olson – bravely started an organization devoted to teaching renewable energy (RE) and sustainable building technologies. Solar Energy International was born. During our first decade, most people attending workshops could fairly be described as counter-culture folks, such as homeowners purposely living off the electric grid or those wanting to go into business to provide alternatives to total reliance on large public utilities. Particularly, with respect to electric power, a counter-culture attitude was fostered in part by the hostility of many public utilities toward grid-tied small electric power generation. Since the late 1990s, public utility and general public attitudes about renewable energy and sustainable building have evolved rapidly into greater acceptance and even promotion of these technologies.

This evolution has allowed Solar Energy International to expand our educational offerings and participant base that now includes those training to be professional installers, designers, and builders as part of mainstream businesses. For example, today’s photovoltaics courses include a heavy dose of grid-tied technologies, as that knowledge is essential in today’s

setting where utilities and states encourage distributed electric power generation from RE resources. From our very beginning, SEI has consistently tried new ideas for workshops, courses, and educational materials. Those ideas have included different subject matters, teaching methods, and workshop locales. Some ideas were successful and can be traced to current offerings. Others were not and were abandoned. One recent successful idea is use of that “fledgling” 1991 technology called the Internet. Today, our online courses are a vital and expanding aspect of our educational offerings. Solar Energy International welcomes and embraces all changes that allow us to accomplish our educational mission. In my 18 years of association with SEI, I have observed two constants. First, the “international” in our name is not just a word but reflects a spirit within Solar Energy International and action to the extent feasible. Second, even though a variety of people have joined or left over the years, Solar Energy International has always had a staff and cadre of instructors incredibly dedicated to our mission of helping others to use renewable energy resources and sustainable building technologies through education and technical assistance. I expect these constants will remain as SEI moves into our next 20 years of educational endeavors.

From our directorJohnny Weiss

Hooray and greetings from Solar Energy International! Welcome to our 2011

catalog of hands-on workshops and online courses. Today there is good news: renewable energy (RE) education is at last becoming mainstream. While new training programs abound, Solar Energy International continues to set the acknowledged high standard for in-person, classroom training, hands-on labs, fieldwork, and online curriculum. We are proud to contribute to this mainstreaming of renewable energy with more than 15,000 alumni who have installed many solar, wind, water power, and sustainable building projects. Our long-standing nonprofit mission to help others learn about renewable energy has never wavered. We believe renewable energy is now more important than ever for the environment, the economy, national security and our legacy to future generations. Solar Energy International remains dedicated to providing practitioners with the knowledge and skills to help free the planet from a deepening dependence on fossil fuels. Solar Energy International continues to have the dedication and talents to train both industry professionals and those just becoming interested in RE technology. Our charitable outreach programs also proudly reach thousands of kids, women, Native Americans and international students. There are more reasons to celebrate this year. It is Solar Energy International’s 20th year of training and educating people in the practical use of renewables.

While we are celebrating, we are also renewing our commitment to remain leaders in RE education. There is much more work to do to make renewables into our “conventional” energy source instead of just an “alternative.” At the same time, aggressively marketed, lower quality RE training programs are moving in to compete. We encourage everyone to shop carefully and do their research

before committing to any training service. Solar Energy International’s thriving online training programs enable us to provide quality cost-effective training to more people around the country and the world. In this past decade, our instructional and support staff has grown as dynamically as the photovoltaic industry. Our instructors continue to help us stand out as the recognized benchmark in energy education services. We are encouraged that the U.S. Department of Energy has selected Solar Energy International to be part of its national program to help colleges develop the capacity to conduct renewable energy training around the country. The future is very exciting for both SEI and renewable energy education. Like never before, people worldwide realize that energy efficiency, solar, wind, water power and sustainable building are the way of the future. Decision-makers are beginning to understand that the brief age of abundant and cheap oil, gas and coal is nearly over. It’s been a wild ride, but now is the time to get sustainable. In the coming decades, we plan to help every interested person learn about and implement renewable technology. We plan to also focus on the training of trainers and curriculum development as renewable energy education continues to grow exponentially. Come join us! Together we will create a bright future.


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Solar Energy International | (970) 963-8855 6 20th anniversary training catalog | 2011 7

updateupdate20 years in the making

Solar Energy International is well known as one of the longest-running renewable

energy education and skills training organization in the U.S. In 2011, Solar Energy International celebrates 20 years of providing renewable energy education for a sustainable future. During the last two decades, Solar Energy International has been a leader in providing hands-on workshops and online courses in solar, wind and micro-hydro electric energy and sustainable building technologies. In 20 years, we have provided our diverse set of workshops to more than 15,000 people from all 50 U.S. states and 67 countries. In 2009 we had our most successful year, training nearly 3,600 people in the United States. The core of our organization’s reputation is built on our Renewable Energy Education Program, through which we’ve offered hundreds of hands-on workshops and online courses. With 17 Institute for Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ)-certified trainers and 24 North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)-certified solar installers teaching for us – more than any other solar training organization – Solar Energy International’s instructors are on the forefront of renewable energy education and solar training. Our highly qualified PV team members and contract instructors wrote and published a

photovoltaic textbook, which has led the industry as the definitive guide to solar design and installation. More recently, the U.S. Department of Energy chose Solar Energy International as one of nine organizations nationwide to provide Train-the-Trainers workshops to community college instructors, through DOE’s Solar Instructor Training Network. Finally, Solar Energy International is launching a free online Introduction to Renewable Energy course that promotes renewable energy technologies to all who want to learn about this emerging field. Even more unique is the fact that Solar Energy International provides our expertise and training to people of all ages, from around the world, and in less fortunate communities. Through our Outreach Programs, we work globally with grassroots international development organizations, nationally with Native American communities, and regionally with school groups. With our International Development and Native American programs, we promote sustainable community development that improves quality of life for rural communities here in the United States and abroad.

Help from our friends

Our Board of Directors and Advisory Board are composed of

experienced professionals who bring a wealth of knowledge to our organization. Meet them here.

Board of Directors Jeff DickinsonBiospaces and Sustainable DesignJeff is an architect, energy consultant and author who has been a Practitioner of Sustainable Architectural Design Alternatives for the past 20 years. He has designed and built passive solar, strawbale and Earthship homes. Don PhillipsonPhillipson Sustainable Energy OptionsDon is a lawyer specializing in civil litigation. His work has involved water rights, patents, trade secrets, contracts, and antitrust claims often relating to technology. Johnny WeissSolar Energy InternationalJohnny has been a full-time renewable energy educator for more than 20 years. He is a co-founder and executive director of SEI. Johnny works with Native Americans and on international rural development projects.

Jane KogerHomestead RanchJane attended the Women’s PV workshop in 2000, after which she had an all-women’s crew, including participants from the workshop, install a 2kW PV system on her organic cattle ranch in Kansas. She then built a straw bale house, using power from the PV system and straw she grew herself. Jock JacoberJacober Brothers ConstructionJock is a local builder and on Colorado’s Western Slope specializing in straw bale construction and green building. Mark KavaschReese Henry & CompanyMark is a partner at Reese Henry & Co. and specializes in business consulting, tax planning, tax compliance, IRS resolutions, financial preparation, internal accounting controls and audits. Ed MarstonHigh Country NewsEd is the former publisher of High Country News, a regional newspaper covering public land and natural resources in the western United States. He and his family live in Paonia, Colorado, where Ed has recycled several downtown commercial buildings.

Advisory Board

Donald AitkenUnion of Concerned ScientistsJ. Douglas BalcombSolar Energy Research InstitutePliny Fisk IIICenter for Maximum Potential Building Systems Joe JordanNASAAlex HillingerGood ChemistryBarbara Kerr Kerr-Cole Sustainable Living CenterThomas A. Lawand Brace Research Institute Phillip Livingston Sungrid Innovative Energy SolutionsAmory Lovins Rocky Mountain InstituteMaureen McIntyre McIntyre Communications Inc.Richard and Karen PerezHome Power MagazineRandy UdallAssociation for the Study of Peak Oil-USASam VanderhoofPacific Renewables GroupNeville WilliamsStandard Solar Inc.Robert WillsSolar Stream

PV instructor Jay Peltz (right) with U.S. Dept. of Energy’s 2010 Train-the-Trainers workshop participants in Paonia, Colorado.

Energy analyst Randy Udall, co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil-USA, is a SEI Advisory Board member.

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Solar Electric Training For 20 years, Solar Energy International has been at the forefront of solar photovoltaic (PV) training. SEI employs more than 30 instructors who work in the PV field and constantly strive to keep up-to-date with new technology, trends, and regulations. Most Solar Energy International instructors are North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)-certified and Institute for Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ)-accredited. To stay ahead in this ever-changing field, our PV team constantly updates curriculum to reflect ongoing developments in the industry, and invites industry experts to conduct technical and curriculum reviews to ensure the highest-quality learning experience. In 2010, Solar Energy International performed a major overhaul of our curriculum, and expanded offerings to make workshops more specific to people’s goals in the industry. And because our courses build upon one another, there is a path for every skill level and interest – from do-it-yourself homeowners to professional designers and installers.

PV101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct)in-person workshops and online courses focus on grid-direct systems, the most common PV system installed today in the U.S. PV101 covers the fundamentals of electricity and photovoltaic systems, site analysis, mounting and grounding, safe installation and commissioning procedures, and numerous other topics. The in-person workshop, which includes PV101 PREP, is especially interactive, with lecture segments followed by applied exercises; the workshop also includes hands-on labs. For more hands-on experience, follow PV101 with Solar Energy International’s one-week hands-on Lab Week.

PV201L: Solar Electric Lab Week (Grid-Direct) enhances PV101 through a nuts-and-bolts, hands-on installation workshop. Students will install, commission, test, and operate multiple grid-direct PV systems, featuring a variety of mounting types and balance-of-system components. PV202: Grid-Direct Design and the NEC, in-person and online, is an advanced grid-direct PV workshop. PV202 focuses heavily on the National Electrical Code and system design calculations. It also features sections on commercial PV, grid interconnection, 3-phase services, disconnects and series fusing, inverter selection, installation best practices, and troubleshooting. PV101 and PV202 are musts for anyone in the grid-direct business. PV203: Battery-Based Design, in-person and online, builds on PV101, with a focus on stand-alone and grid-tied with battery back-up systems. PV203 comprehensively covers the many different types of PV systems that use batteries, and how to design and install code-compliant, battery-based systems. PV203 can be taken directly after PV101.

Leaders in Training

A t Solar Energy International, we believe people learn by doing. Our Solar PV and Renewable Energy Education

Programs offer a full spectrum of online courses and hands-on workshops in locations around the world. From solar training to wind power education, participants learn to design, build and maintain renewable energy systems and energy-efficient, sustainable homes. Solar Energy International offers training in: • Solar Electric PV (Photovoltaics)

Learn the technical ins and outs of solar electricity.• Sustainable Building

Learn to design and build sustainable, efficient, comfortable and beautiful homes.

• Solar Thermal

Become a part of the burgeoning solar hot water and radiant heating industry or learn to design a system for your own home. • Wind Power Learn to design, install, troubleshoot, and maintain residential wind power systems. • Micro-Hydro Power

Learn how to site design and install amicro-hydro system. • International-Rural Development

Learn to help improve the quality of life for people in the developing world, or in lesser developed areas of industrialized nations. • Renewable Energy for Educators Teachers and educators learn to implement renewable energy curriculum into their classrooms.

U.S. Dept. of Energy Train-the-Trainers hands-on workshop participants at Solar Energy International’s PV lab facility in Paonia, Colorado.

Solar, wind, micro-hydro, sustainable building and rural development. Solar Energy International knows training.

In 2010, SEI joined with Salt

Lake Community College and the

Utah Solar Energy Association to

form the Rocky Mountain Solar

Training Provider group, as part of

the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Train-

the-Trainers initiative.

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U.S. Dept. of Energy Train-the-Trainers PV101 workshop in Paonia, Colorado, in 2010.

Solar Hot Water Training

Why choose Solar Energy International for solar hot water education? Our instructors have extensive field experience and are passionate about teaching. Our solar hot water program offers an unparalleled combination of hands-on knowledge and technical expertise. Solar Energy International has 20 years of educational experience within the expanding solar industry. We began offering solar thermal workshops in 2001. Industry experts thoroughly review and update our curriculum to keep current with continually evolving equipment choices, system design standards, and best practices.

ST101: Solar Hot Water Design and Installation is a five-day workshop that teaches the theory, design considerations and installation strategies necessary to install and maintain a solar hot water system. Passive solar water heaters, drainback systems, antifreeze systems, and photovoltaic powered systems are all discussed in depth. Pool heating systems and an introduction to space heating systems are covered as well. Also included are safety considerations, code compliance, system sizing, and understanding solar collector performance in a variety of climates and applications. Lessons learned from decades of experience address solar collectors, pumps, blowers, controls, storage tanks, heat exchangers, maintenance and more. Installation techniques like sealing roof penetrations and collector racking details are part of the program. This workshop includes hands-on labs (assembling solar water heating and pool systems, wiring controls, soldering copper tubing and using site analysis tools and software) or real-world installations and tours of working solar heating.

ST201: Solar and Radiant Heating is a three-day workshop that provides critical information to design practical and efficient solar and radiant heating systems for energy and cost savings with comfort of underfloor heating. Become a part of the burgeoning radiant heating industry and a rapidly emerging solar marketplace. Topics include radiant heating basics and construction details, solar fundamentals, system designs, collector mounting, heat load analysis, sizing collectors, control strategies, installation standards, and performance and cost.

Participants in our Solar Hot Water workshop at Solar Energy International’s new classroom facility at Third Street Center in Carbondale, Colorado, received hands-on training in 2010.

“Solar Energy International’s curriculum makes the most complex systems understandable

through their knowledgeable instructors that show their commitment to teaching on every

level of knowledge. SEI is a head above the rest.”

~ Charles Byers, Solar Hot Water Design, 2010

PV301L Solar Electric Lab Week (Battery-Based) allows students to apply the theory learned in PV203 to a variety of battery-based systems ranging from small, stand-alone applications to complex, grid-tied with battery back-up systems. PV204: Solar Sales and Marketing is for both solar salespeople and management/owners. We share tips for setting up a solid and effective sales team, then generating leads. Topics include solar market segments, promotion strategies, lead generation, marketing tools, and setting up and running sales organizations. These strategic insights can save, and possibly help you earn, thousands in avoiding mistakes and increased sales.

PV205: Economics of Solar: Making the Financial Case is a rigorous interactive workshop designed to help dealers, installers, and salespeople understand and make the most accurate and compelling financial case possible for the value of PV systems. The class is focused on residential systems, tax rules, incentives, and best practices. Examples cover many states, but emphasis is on the local region, and how to make a strong economic selling through a thorough economic analysis of simple payback, total lifecycle payback, internal rate of return, cash flow analysis, and appraisal resale value.

Our newest PV offering!

PVOL206: Solar Business and Technical Sales has been developed from the ground up with a strong focus on business principals. This online course is for those working in the solar industry or hoping to work in solar sales. Through insightful presentations

and instruction from working experts in the field, SEI’s PV206 Solar Business and Technical Sales course covers marketing and sales techniques you will need to be successful. Concepts discussed in detail include: customer qualification, solar site analysis, creating conceptual design proposals, system costing, incentives and rebates, cost-benefit analyses, financing options, and the non-financial benefits of photovoltaic systems. While certain aspects of the PV206: Solar Business and Technical Sales course will be a review for students who have previously taken SEI’s PV204 or PV205, this workshop offers a broad curriculum based on the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Job Task Analysis to help prepare participants for the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Certification.

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Wind Energy Training

Jimmy Dean once said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” This is one way to think about how energy derived from the winds that move across the surface of the earth can be a viable source of renewable power. Wind turbines are able to harvest this energy source and convert it to power that can be used to provide electricity. Wind energy is “green” because it produces energy with no pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. While it’s true wind power is not an available power generating source 100% of the time, we at Solar Energy International believe it is an integral part of our energy independent future. Solar Energy International teaches wind workshops in Paonia, Colorado, and Guemes Island, Washington, including:

WP101: Wind Design and Installation teaches participants to design and install residential wind systems that range from 10 to 70 feet in diameter and produce up to 100 kWh. The workshop covers system sizing, site analysis, installation and safety issues, and hardware specification. Learn about the different available residential wind turbines, how they work, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

WP102: Homebuilt Wind Turbines guides participants through the process of building a small wind turbine from scratch. Brief sessions each day on wind generator theory are followed by shop sessions. The workshop group will construct one to three working wind generators. Approximately three-quarters of this workshop is hands-on construction of wind turbines. Participants gain hands-on experience carving wooden blades, winding coils, wiring, and fabricating a complete wind turbine. The turbine built in the workshop will produce up to 1,500 watts in high winds. Participants learn how to adapt this and other designs for other voltages, and how to scale the design concepts up or down to meet their needs.Wind training in Guemes Island, Washington.

Wind workshop participants in Paonia, Colorado.

WP201: Residential Wind Maintenance and Repair includes a brief review of basic wind-electric system design principles and practice, and then focuses on maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of these systems. This is an advanced workshop, intended for experienced wind-electric system users, designers, and installers, or for those who have attended SEI’s Wind Design and Installation workshop. Classroom sessions will complement extensive hands-on work. Workshop participants will work on real-world wind-electric systems, including tilting down a tower, climbing and working on freestanding and guyed towers, and working on wind turbines and balance of systems components. Approximately half of this workshop is hands-on work.

Micro-hydro Training

Micro-hydro is often called the holy grail of small-scale renewable energy systems. Energy can be derived from micro-hydro systems 24 hours a day, year-round. For those with a reliable water source on their property, micro-hydro might be the most cost effective option. Micro-hydro systems convert energy from falling water in a river or stream into usable electricity. All that is required for a micro-hydro site is a water source, piping, a turbine generator system, and wiring to connect power to the home.

MH101: Micro-Hydro Design and Installationcovers design considerations as they apply to both low and high head micro-hydro systems. The focus is on core concepts applied to a range of hydro applications, including preliminary system sizing for mechanical and electrical power generation of 50-watt to 100-kilowatt capacities. Topics cover safety procedures, system components, AC and DC systems, site analysis, battery storage, maintenance, hybrid systems, and case studies. Hands-on exercises include methods of flow measurement, determining head, and analyzing and assembling small systems. Class lectures are combined with site tours and lab exercises.

Micro-hydro system example during hands-on training.

“I took the micro-hydro course on Guemes Island and it was an outstanding

experience with a valuable balance between

technical detail, conceptual understanding and in-field experience. The excellent organization of this course brought all these valuable

learning elements together. ”

~ Leif Kindberg, Micro-hydro, 2010

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Educator Training

At Solar Energy International, education is our mainstay. We offer training for K-12 educators through our Solar In the Schools program. Our educator training courses are accredited on the graduate level through Colorado’s Mesa State University.

RE101: Teaching Solar Energy to Kids helps educators learn the secrets to teaching renewable energy to kids and is taught by experienced teachers. This popular, accredited, jam-packed hands-on workshop is aimed at K-12 teachers and non-formal educators alike. Participants talk pedagogy and renewable energy theory while building solar ovens, solar race cars, model wind turbines and more. RE201: K-12 Advanced Renewable Energy Educator Training features three groups of educators tackling three big classroom projects in three days. For educators who have taken RE101 or have an energy-teaching background, Solar Energy International offers this intensive hands-on workshop. Past projects include a model sustainable community with a renewable energy grid, solar suitcase lighting systems for the developing world and natural-building birdhouses.

Our newest Renewable Energy for Educators course!RE102: Solar Suitcase Training is an accredited, graduate-level hands-on workshop teaching WE CARE Solar’s inspiring solar suitcase program to youth educators. Participants learn to build a solar suitcase: a 40- watt stand-alone photovoltaic system intended for distribution to health clinics in developing countries. Increase your ability to confidently teach about sustainability, especially as it relates to solar electricity, and then recreate this service learning project with your students during the school year.

Rural Development Training

Renewable energy technologies can greatly improve the lives of people in developing countries. Women, who spend their days gathering firewood to cook over smoky fires, contract respiratory and eye diseases. Smokeless metal stoves, biogas digesters, and solar cookers can greatly alleviate these issues. Solar food drying can solve problems with food preservation and seasonal food supply. Millions of lives lost each year from water-related diseases can be saved by solar water purification and water distillation. Electricity can also greatly improve people’s lives by boosting education, health care, agriculture, and industry. Though many rural communities will never have the electric utility grid, they can use the sun, wind and water. As many sustainable d e v e l o p m e n t projects are fully i m p l e m e n t e d with education and training, renewable energy technologies can play a crucial role in people’s lives.

Renewable Energy and Nature Tour is SEI’s all-inclusive, 10-day tour of Costa Rica focusing on renewable energy and nature. Costa Rican naturalist Eugenio Garcia Lopez and renewable energy expert Ian Woofenden lead this chartered bus tour. Guides have decades of experience in their fields and show the details of renewable energy in a country largely powered by renewables, and the intricacies of a natural environment more varied than seems possible.

RD102: Solar PV Systems for the Developing World teaches design and installation of solar PV systems for the developing world in Costa Rica. Workshop participants learn system sizing, site analysis, hardware specification, and component

selection. The workshop covers typical applications and case study examples. Held at Rancho Mastatal, an environmental learning center and retreat located in the last virgin rainforest of Costa Rica’s Puriscal County. Taught in both English and Spanish.

RD201: Renewable Energy for the Developing World-Hands-on, hosted at Fundacion Durika, a private reservation of 18,500 acres in Costa Rica, teaches design and installation of renewable energy systems: build solar ovens with a women’s

cooperative, build a methane biodigestor, and learn about other technologies

appropriate to the developing world. Taught in both

English and Spanish.

RD203: Appropriate Technology for the Developing World in Mexico provides an overview of technologies promoting small-scale

sustainable energy and

resource management systems

in the developing world. Learn about

ecological water treatment systems, rainwater catchment,

solar and micro-hydro technologies, and build a methane biodigestor for cooking fuel.

RD205: Sustainable Community Development: Renewable Energy for Rural Villages offers hands-on learning in a small Nicaraguan village, Sabana Grande, Madriz, which has taken up the challenge of becoming a solar community with Grupo Fenix. Live with families in Sabana Grande who can show you the benefits and obstacles of using solar energy in their community. Install a PV system, build solar cookers with the women’s cooperative, and build your own solar battery charger.

Educators collaborate at Solar Energy International’s new Third Street Center classroom in Carbondale, Colorado.

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RD206: Wind Power for the Developing World teaches wind turbine construction with Blue Energy Group in Nicaragua. See how local people can be empowered by making them central figures in the design, construction, and implementation of energy systems. Blue Energy, located on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, creates long-term value by linking its sustainable energy services to life-improving energy uses such as clean light, water treatment, medicine storage, and ice making for fish storage. Work with local technicians to build and install wind turbines in these rural fishing villages. Tour PV systems for rural applications and learn about low-tech appropriate water treatment systems.

CU100: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Cuba educates students about Cuba’s energy revolution. Meet with NGOs and government institutions, and visit renewable energy sites in both and urban and rural areas. See first hand how Cuba has become a model of sustainable energy development. Fully licensed and legal.

PV101: Diseño e instalación de sistemas solares fotovoltaicos, cara a cara o en linea, se centra en sistemas conectadas a la red, la instalación fotovoltaica más común hoy en los EEUU. Este curso está disponible para participantes que hablan español.

Sustainable Community Development: Renewable Energy for Rural Villages workshop offers hands-on learning in a small Nicaraguan village.

Renewable Energy for the Developing World hands-on training in Costa Rica.

Green Building Training

We continuously hear from potential students and alumni who want to know what training they should take at Solar Energy International. Along with solar, wind, and micro-hydro workshops, we recommend branching out to the various related and relevant training opportunities we offer. If you’ve ever wondered how your solar skills fit into the bigger picture of building energy and design, or if your experience in the construction industry could be expanded to the green sector, Solar Enery International has the answer. SB101: Green Building Design and Construction shows how efficiency, sustainable building design, and green building technologies such as solar electricity come together. For job seekers, this training shows potential employers you see the full home/building as a system and have a 360-degree view of how energy efficiency can help home and business owners. Expand your design and retrofit

sciences knowledge base and skill sets to share with clients and customers in Green Building Design and Construction. For those pursuing Building Performance Institute (BPI) certification or Home Energy Rating System (HERS) training and testing, this course helps tremendously in preparation. “This online experience is a great starter course for anyone interested in entering the green building field, such as HERS raters, LEED for Homes green raters, etc.,” says Erica Sparhawk, Clean Energy Economy for the Region program manager. “It is also great for homeowners or those interested in buying, renovating or building a sustainable home.”

SB201: Straw Bale Construction is for anyone serious about building a straw bale home, in the planning and design phase, ready to build, or is a professional looking to expand design/build knowledge. This five-day, hands-on workshop takes a deeper look at the design and detail considerations for straw bale construction. Expand knowledge of the variety of styles and techniques of building with straw bales and learn more about the role and application of earthen plasters. In this workshop designed for the homeowner new to straw bale or building professional seeking green design skills, participants construct a small straw bale structure from the foundation to the roof, and tour straw bale homes. No prior building or design experience is required, and people of all skill levels will benefit greatly from the information and hands-on activities.

Straw Bale Construction green building training in Carbondale, Colorado.

Green Building Design and Construction teaches efficiency, sustainable building design, and green building technologies.

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primed for


Are you a Solar Energy International alum?We want you! Log on to to add your location to our alumni, student and instructor map.

Welcome to Solar Energy International’s new Online Campus. Your time is now.

Solar Energy International’s Online Campus, at, provides user-friendly, anywhere, anytime access to our world-class curriculum and highly trained instructors.

We pride ourselves in 20 years of developing solar training and renewable energy curriculum, but what really sets SEI’s training apart from any other organization is our technology. We offer online courses including:

• PV 101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct), including PV101 PREP • PV 202: Grid- Direct Design and the NEC • PV 203: Battery-Based Design• PV 206: Solar Business and Technical Sales • SB 101: Green Building Design and Construction• RD 101: Renewable Energy for the Developing World• RE 100: Intro to Renewable Energy (free)• Webinars (free)

The SEI Online Learning ExperienceSolar Energy International has built its Online Campus with sound learning theory in mind. As you take an online course with us, you have the benefit of learning through: • Streaming video with instructional examples and expert interviews. • Online forums and discussions. • Chat rooms for real-time discussions. • Live office hours for student- instructor Q&A sessions. • Quizzes with immediate feedback and grading. • Downloadable course notebooks for offline viewing. • Engaging exercises with easy-to-read graphics and schematics. • Readings and resources authored by industry leaders.

New Online Alumni and Career CenterThe Solar Energy International Online Alumni and Career Center is here to help our students explore the opportunities within the renewable energy industry. The center provides:

• Career exploration• Industry leader interviews• Job posting resources• Resume writing tips

This resource provides networking connections for students and alumni as well as opportunities to explore career opportunities and professional paths within the renewable energy industry.

Log on to Solar Energy International’s Online Campus at by Smart Phone to read course exercises, stream course videos, participate in online forums, and watch webinars.

Free SEI Online Course! RE100: Introduction to Renewable Energy

• New for 2011! • 10-lesson overview of RE types. • Get to know the SEI Online Campus. • Printable Record of Completion. • SEI Alumni and Career Center access.

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Solar Energy International -

1991 - Solar Energy International has our beginnings in a collaborative effort between Johnny Weiss and Ken Olson to educate people around the world so that they better use renewable energy and environmental building technologies.

1998 - A big year for SEI! Solar Energy International also launched our first PV course ONLINE, serving 44 students and furthering our positon of educational leadership in the industry.

Comparatively, in 2009, SEI served 1,512 online participants.

1998 - SEI kicks off our Women’s Program with a photovoltaics (PV) workshop in Tucson, Arizona. Since then, we’ve conducted 23 workshops just for women. That’s more than 350 women trained, thanks to that program. And many more women take our co-ed solar workshops.T-shirt design, circa 1996.

A very early SEI T-shirt design.

By 1993, Solar Energy International made inroads on a broad array of renewable energy workshops including bio-diesel, micro-hydro, wind, electric vehicle, strawbale building and even a hydrogen workshop. While we haven’t stuck with all of these as workshops, SEI remains hopeful that all innovative technologies contribute to a greater sustainable future.

This design was featured on SEI T-shirts many times over the years.

Follow the evolution of logos Solar Enery International has used through the years.

- A Timeline of

2004 - Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual is published and utilized as the textbook in our PV training workshops.

2003 - SEI sends our first INVEST volunteer overseas. Kim Paradis traveled to Honduras for six months working with Enersol Associates. She helped electrify this school with solar so students could use computers and have other amenities.

2002 - Solar EnergyInternational is oneof the first training organizations to gain accreditation for our PV program through the IREC organization. As of 2010, SEI is proud to have seven accredited Instructors and 10 accredited Master Trainers actively involved in teaching our courses.

2005 - The Solar School Bus arrives on the scene to help teach kids about renewable energy and guzzle some veggie oil.

2005 - In coordination with Honor the Earth and the Western Shoshone Defense Project, we trained more than 20 Native Americans in PV installation and installed a PV system to power the ranch home of Western Shoshone elders Mary and Carrie Dann.

2009 - Solar Energy International becomes the Regional Trainer-of-Trainers for PV and Solar Heating and Cooling for a 15-state Rocky Mountain group through the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network.

The current and most recent scenic SEI T-shirt design.

Not to be missed: SEI is celebrating our 20th Anniversary all year long (if not longer). Call and wish us a happy birthday! (970) 963-8855













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Our office and classroom in Carbondale, Colorado In 1991, the 20-year-old training leader that is Solar Energy International began in a small alley-side office with four employees in downtown Carbondale, Colorado. Carbondale was, and still is, the home of Solar Energy International’s co-founders and solar experts, Johnny Weiss and Ken Olson. Just like Solar Energy International, the town of Carbondale has seen much growth. As each SEI workshop trained well intentioned “hippies” and “back-to-the-landers” in the beginning, many of SEI’s alumni never left, establishing professional roots on the Western Slope of Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley. Solar Energy International Carbondale alumni became builders, electricians, community nonprofit leaders, policymakers, and homeowners. And in turn, SEI’s influence as the leader in renewable energy education became well established. In Carbondale, there is solar everywhere you turn, from the new Clean Energy Collective community-owned solar farm on the edge of town to nearly all of the town’s public buildings. And, Carbondale has one of the highest per-capita of straw bale homes of anywhere in the country. Six years ago, the town council passed an energy efficiency plan to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2015, and they’ve already met the target reduction - five years ahead of schedule. Solar Energy International now has more than 15,000 alumni and 28 team members, many who

live in Carbondale. In addition to Solar Energy International’s seven-acre Paonia, Colorado, campus, our Carbondale facilities focus on administrative and student support services and host many classroom-based, hands-on workshops. The Carbondale staff occupies the old town hall acquired in 1997 as a community nonprofit center, alongside KDNK community radio. In 2010, Solar Energy International expanded into a new classroom in the Third Street Center facility. Solar Energy International joined 38 nonprofit organizations, artists and small businesses in what was previously an elementary school and is now a model for redevelopment, sustainability and collaboration. Third Street Center enables us to better impact renewable energy education and public awareness by hosting more workshop offerings, numerous community events, and regional K-12 students as part of SEI’s dynamic Solar In the Schools program. In 2010, we began renovation of one of two spaces in the Third Street Center rotunda. Originally the Carbondale Elementary School built in 1966, our renovated space had been well loved, including by Sustainable Building Coordinator Rachel Connor’s kindergarten class in 1983. There were cubbies to remove, walls to recycle, asbestos to abate, and electrical and plumbing issues to resolve. There was also an ethic to follow of creating a true learning laboratory for those focused on implementing sustainability in their schools, community, homes or businesses. In that, SEI has stayed true to our mission.

This 50kW solar array is an integral part of Third Street Center in Carbondale, Colorado, an eco-friendly facility where Solar Energy International hosts hands-on workshops in renewable energy.

Photo by Brent Moss Photography

Solar Energy International teaches hands-on workshops around the world.

Join us on a whirlwind tour.

No place like Home.

F rom Colorado to Costa Rica, venues for Solar Energy International hands-on workshops open up a world of possibilities. Whether the workshop is located in the United States, at our Paonia PV lab facility, or overseas in a tropical Nicaraguan village, renewable energy training with Solar Energy International melds training with educational eco-tourism. Don’t forget your camera.

Carbondale, Colorado Paonia, Colorado

Rancho Mastatal, C osta RicaGuemes Island, Washington

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Our eco-campus and PV lab facility in Paonia, Colorado

Five years ago, Solar Energy International expanded operations to include a seven-acre property amongst the diverse agricultural community in Paonia, Colorado. This expansion serves as a foundation to our long-range goal of creating a renewable energy and sustainable living educational center that provides a diverse and enriching forum to engage in and learn. Why Paonia—this small community in Western Colorado? Even though many people have never heard of Paonia, the town is a destination that we chose intentionally as the place to have some of the best solar training in the U.S. Paonia is in a lush valley in the high desert, with the North Fork River running right through town and surrounded by mountains. On your way out to our eco-campus, you’ll pass acre-upon-acre of organic fruits. There’s always students in class who go mountain biking in the spectacular trails in town, or spend their evenings fly-fishing in the gold-medal waters just west of town. Or camp and hike in the surrounding wilderness.Students come to Paonia, because they want to not only receive incredible training but be a town where they get to know their training buddies and locals. Paonia is also home to the award-winning SEIPA beer

(named after yours truly) from Revolution Brewery. This is a community that loves SEI and the students. In the five years since Solar Energy International has been in Paonia, we’ve worked hard at developing the eco-campus and PV lab facility. Our campus allows us to provide unparalleled hands-on experiences to augment classroom and online learning. As part of our commitment to deliver code compliant, safety oriented PV training, we developed a state-of-the-art PV lab facility that gives students the opportunity to work on the various system types and mounting techniques common in the solar industry. Our experienced instructors oversee small

groups of students in the installation, testing and commissioning of fully operational PV systems. In addition to our PV lab facility, we also have labs for micro-hydro, solar thermal, natural building and wind power. However, we are not stopping here. Our vision for the future includes building a state-of-the-art classroom based on regenerative design principles. Our lab facility will continue to evolve as technologies change. The Paonia eco-campus is a chance to expand upon the inspiring SEI culture and community, create a place that shares a renewed land ethic and teaches people the essence of living a renewable and sustainable life. From wind power to PV to micro-hydro to sustainable building, SEI will continue to lead the way in teaching the

world about renewable energy. Stay tuned because the future is full of possibility.

Our eco-campus and PV lab facility in Paonia, Colorado.

U.S. Dept. of Energy 2010 hands-on solar training at our PV lab facility in Paonia, Colorado.

Our hands-on training venue on Guemes Island, Washington

For the past 15 years, Guemes Island, Washington, has been the location for more than 100 Solar Energy International hands-on workshops. Why this small, residential island home to approximately 800 year-round residents and only 8.2 square miles in size? In the mid-1990s, Ian Woofenden approached SEI about offering workshops in the San Juan Islands chain. Ian, who has lived on Guemes Island for more than 30 years raising his large family off-grid using solar electric, solar water heating, and wind power, stepped in as SEI’s Northwest Coordinator. Each year Solar Energy International NW presents a spring and fall series of workshops. While each series has both introductory and advanced workshops, all programs benefit from the location and characteristics associated with Guemes Island workshops. The signature aspect of workshops on Guemes Island is the opportunity for participants to work on actual renewable energy installation projects. Each major workshop does a real-world installation for an island or regional homeowner or business. These systems increase the amount of renewable energy produced, and provide an educational opportunity for workshop participants. Part of the legacy of 15 years of SEI workshops on Guemes Island is the large number of solar-electric, solar-hot water, and wind-electric projects on this small island. There are more than 30 renewable energy system tour sites. This rich diversity is leveraged during each workshop, through daily opportunities to move from the classroom to in-field learning through touring and examining working systems. These tours bring students together with system owners, who share how their vision became reality, while workshop participants become inspired by these RE pioneers. Participants can choose to either walk, bike, or drive onto the ferry and make the 10-minute trip from Anacortes to Guemes Island. Once on the island, most workshop participants join island living by staying at the Guemes Island Resort, next to the inland waters of the Pacific Ocean. As any student who’s gone through a training on Guemes Island knows, there’s never a dull moment.

Our international locations Costa Rica. Ecuador. Nicaragua. Mexico. Cuba. These tropical regions are not only some of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world, but they are also home to Solar Energy International’s sustainable community development training. For example, SEI’s Renewable Energy for the Developing World workshops in Costa Rica are held at Fundacion Durika, a private reservation of 18,500 acres in the Talamanca Mountains. In Mexico, developing world workshop participants apply appropriate and resource management technologies to the rural indigenous community of Tziscao, Chiapas. Our Ecology, Permaculture, and Natural Building workshop includes five days in Rio Muchacho, Ecuador, at an organic farm demonstrating a combination of organic agriculture, permaculture, local traditional moon planting, renewable energies, and recycling. These hands-on training venues surely put the “International” in Solar Energy International. Our Sustainable Community Development workshops in Nicaragua provide hands-on learning in a small Nicaraguan village, Sabana Grande, Madriz, and on the Atlantic Coast with blueEnergy, an organization that helps communities integrate hybrid wind and solar electric systems. Cuba educates students about the country’s energy revolution. Mexico offers an overview of technologies promoting small-scale sustainable energy and resource management systems in the developing world.

Hands-on solar training on Guemes Island, Washington.

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T hrough our outreach programs, Solar Energy International works with grassroots and development

organizations around the world to promote sustainability and improve quality of life. Solar Energy International also works locally and regionally to educate school children about the benefits of solar, wind, and water power. Our members’ generous donations support these global outreach programs:

Solar In the Schools (SIS) reaches out to K-12 students through classroom presentations, teacher trainings, a lending library of energy-teaching equipment and a free online renewable energy course. The program prides itself on teaching these serious topics with optimism, hands-on experiences and an ever-present sense of humor. Solar In the Schools has reached more than 8,000 students and teachers since 2002. Students in our regional classroom presentations use solar cells to turn electric motors. Educators in our summer teacher training workshops talk pedagogy with other energy-conscious teachers while building solar ovens, solar race cars, and model wind turbines. Via our energy equipment lending library, teachers use expensive renewable energy training equipment in their

classrooms - at no cost. High school students can take an entire online course in renewable energy basics - also at no charge - through Solar Energy International’s online campus. Learning is fun, especially with our hands-on, solutions-focused presentations. And we have yet to see a kid who can stay away from our biodiesel-powered solar school bus. We can confidently say children see hope for the future in renewable energy, and it’s a privilege to see the lightbulb come on over their heads. Solar In the Schools is wholly supported by financial donors, partnering organizations and Solar Energy International members.

International Volunteers in the Environmentally Sustainable Technologies (INVEST) connects alumni of Solar Energy International’s renewable energy program with organizations in rural development around the world. Numerous international organizations work to improve lives with renewable energy, yet many are poorly funded, understaffed, or lack a sufficient number of people with technical expertise. Fortunately, many Solar Energy International alumni are willing to volunteer their time to help improve the lives of people around the world while experiencing new cultures and ways of life. Yet, many people are unaware of the opportunities that exist.

Solar Energy International's 20-year history

of outreach

For this reason, Solar Energy International created INVEST. Think of INVEST as a renewable energy Peace Corps. After successfully completing Solar Energy International workshops, alumni can volunteer in an international project helping to electrify rural communities with renewable energy, build sustainable houses, and train local users and technicians. INVEST volunteer opportunities apply to alumni only.

Our Native American Program helps Native Americans meet their energy and housing needs with renewable energy and natural building. Solar Energy International works with Native American groups and nonprofit organizations, training people from the Western Shoshone, Skull Valley Goshute, Lakota Sioux, Yurok, Zuni, Hopi, and Chippewa Nations in renewable energy technologies. In 2008, Solar Energy International teamed up with Honor the Earth, a Native American environmental advocacy group, to successfully conduct a PV installation and training on the Skull Valley Goshute reservation. A year prior, the Skull Valley tribal members celebrated the successful defeat of a proposed nuclear waste storage facility on their reservation. The community feels PV training, attended by Native Americans from four different tribes, is the beginning of a movement toward a new energy economy focusing on sunlight and life.

Our Women’s Program provides technical training workshops in a supportive learning atmosphere to bring more women into the renewable energy field. Solar Energy International

women’s workshops are taught by women for women, and are intended to provide a supportive learning atmosphere for students. Even women with hands-on experience already working in technical fields find it helpful and rewarding to network with other women interested in and/or working in renewable energy. Scholarships are available.

Our Work-Trade Program helps people from around the world

to hone their skills while helping to strengthen and grow our organization. Solar Energy International exchanges 100 percent tuition for eight weeks of workshops in exchange for eight weeks of work. We match existing needs to the work-traders’ skills. Solar Energy International receives much-needed help with the day-to-day workload and special projects, and work-traders trade time and knowledge for free tuition to our Renewable Energy Education Program. The true benefit is we can work and play with new people from all over the country who offer a fresh perspective on renewable energy.

Scholarships are offered in a limited number for students in need to learn renewable energy technology and sustainable design skills. Partial tuition scholarships provide financial assistance for one class per student per calendar year. Students are responsible for transportation, housing, and meal expenses. Traditionally, scholarships are awarded to people from developing countries or in financial hardship unable to participate without this help. We also work with workforce development agencies to help unemployed workers utilize regional and national workforce funding.

Reaching out

INVEST participants share renewable energy knowledge with the developing world.

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From Facebook and Twitter to chat rooms and blogs, Solar Energy International has a strong social network that helps participants grow their bonds. Many alumni leave Solar Energy International with new friendships later nurtured through e-mails, site visits and the world’s ever-popular social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Join the club. • Like us on Facebook: • Follow us on Twitter: • Join our LinkedIn group: • Subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Staying Connected

Solar Energy International was founded 20 years ago as a nonprofit educational organization to help others to use renewable energy resources and sustainable building technologies through education

and technical assistance. Our vision is focused on helping create a more sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants. Through our work, we see clear opportunities to help influence people’s thinking and behaviors toward energy efficiency and the use of natural, sustainable methods of energy production and utilization. We train participants from around the world. What better way to meet a diverse group of people interested in renewable energy and create a fertile environment where people can grow their relationships within the industry?

Mission accomplished

In 2010, alumni friendships were formed in such fun locations as Carbondale, Colorado, pictured below and right, and in Glenwood Springs at Summer of Jazz (center right) during educator training.

Women’s PV participants take a break at the zip line in Glenwood Canyon in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Making friends at Solar Hot Water training in Carbondale, Colorado.

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alumnialumnito the island frequently and continues to use his knowledge gained in Solar Energy International workshops to develop small-scale solar and natural building projects. Corey is a field engineer for Alternative Energy Concepts, a design/build firm in Fayetteville, North Carolina, that specializes in residential and commercial energy solutions. He is a NABCEP Certified Solar PV and Solar Thermal Installer and leads training workshops for Fayetteville Technical Community College. Lee Feliciano Lee Feliciano is EVP with CarbonFree Technology Corp, based in Scottsdale, Arizona. CarbonFree develops commercial solar projects using Solar Services Agreements (also known as PPAs) where a third-party investor installs, owns and operates a commercial PV system and the customer simply pays a fee based on the amount of electricity the system produces. Lee believes his experience while at Solar Energy International was instrumental in leading him to his current position. One of Lee’s projects is a 731kW elevated single-axis tracker system on Parking Structure 5 at Arizona State University.

Joe Schwartz Joe Schwartz is executive editor and CEO of Home Power magazine and SolarPro magazine’s editor and publisher. He helps organize the magazines’ direction, projects, and crew. He writes articles and equipment reviews, shoots photos, and edits text and graphics for technical accuracy. Joe is also a licensed renewable energy technician and installer in Oregon, and a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer. Anna Bautista Anna Bautista is the training and volunteer coordinator in the Los Angeles area for Grid Alternatives. Grid Alternatives empowers communities in need by providing renewable energy and energy efficiency services, equipment and training. Through their Solar Affordable Housing Program, Grid Alternatives trains and leads teams of community volunteers to help low-income homeowners install solar electric systems on their own homes. Anna trains job trainees and community volunteers on how solar works and the installation process.

Walt Ratterman Solar Energy is deeply saddened by the loss of Walt Ratterman, who perished in the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Walt was a SEI alumnus, instructor, supporter and friend. He was also an incredibly dedicated one-of-a-kind individual who touched thousands of people’s lives around the world. Walt was in Haiti working on solar projects for health clinics with the organization that he cofounded, SunEnergy Power International (SunEPI). Walt had more than 30 years’ experience in the electrical construction industry. After working for many years on large industrial projects nationwide, he started his own electrical firm about 20 years ago on the east coast, working on many of the first solar stand-alone and grid-tied systems on state-approved rebate programs. Until his passing, Walt spent nearly all of his time working in remote locations throughout Thailand, Burma, Ecuador, Nicaragua, India, Pakistan, Rwanda, and Haiti.

Paul Puhr As the Commercial Monitoring Integration Lead at SunPower Corporation, Paul Puhr is in involved with system monitoring and data acquisition work for commercial, commercial value added reseller and utility scale projects. “It is a lot of great work with really enthusiastic people. My thanks to Solar Energy International for helping me get here!” says Paul.

Meet our alumni

In the past 20 years, Solar Energy International has proudly trained more than 15,000 alumni in renewable energy

technologies. See how a few of our alumni are making amazing accomplishments in the renewable energy industry around the world.

Blake Jones Blake Jones is president of Boulder, Colorado-based Namaste Solar Electric, an employee-owned solar PV company with more than 500 system installations in the past three years. After attending Solar Energy International workshops, Blake spent three years in Nepal implementing solar, wind, hydro, and electric vehicle technologies. He returned to the U.S. in late 2004 to co-found Namaste Solar Electric and promote the use of solar electricity in Colorado.

Lura Griffiths Lura Griffiths is an alumna and former Solar Energy International office volunteer, and a graduate of the Renewable Energy Engineering program at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Portland. She is an energy analyst/modeler with Glumac, Inc., a leading MEP engineering firm specializing in sustainable commercial building development. In addition to her work with Glumac, Lura serves on the the board of directors of Solar HOPE, a nonprofit working to bring renewable energy to Tanzania and other developing countries through partnerships between U.S. universities and local governments/universities in the developing world. Corey Shalanski Corey Shalanski taught high school science in New York City prior to arriving at Solar Energy International in 2008 as a work-trader for the Solar In the Schools outreach program. Although he never actually drove the Solar Schoolbus, Corey’s alter ego “SolarMan” was known to swoop down on local schools and give classroom presentations. Corey was a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica from 2001-03; he has returned

From left to right, Blake Jones (seen here in 2009 meeting President Barack Obama), Lura Griffiths, Corey Shalanski, and Lee Feliciano are just a few of the motivated Solar Energy International alumni succeeding in the renewable energy industry. Learn more about their work here.

SEI alumnus Paul Puhr in front of a multi-megawatt installation he helped complete in Spain.

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teamteamJohnny WeissCo-founder and Executive DirectorJohnny Weiss is a solar educator, consultant, certified Industrial Trainer and solar building professional. He has more than 20 years experience teaching the practical applications of renewable energy technologies. As an associate professor for 10 years at Colorado Mountain College, he helped develop and teach a hands-on vocational training program in solar thermal, photovoltaics, energy efficiency and construction skills. Johnny works with Native Americans renewable energy training and international sustainable development programs. Noah DavisSolar In the Schools ManagerNoah Davis believes nothing is more important than teaching today’s youth how to deal with tomorrow’s energy challenges - all while having fun. He taught middle and high school in drought-stricken, rural Australia until March 2009.His experiences with climate change and bushfires led him to teach conservation and efficiency and renewable energy technologies. His pastimes include juggling, kayaking, unicycling, writing, rafting, snowboarding, and telling solar jokes. Tawnya Parker PV Workshop Coordinator Tawnya Parker moved to Colorado in 2005 from Eugene, Oregon, after graduating with honors from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies. Tawnya appreciates working in an industry that lessens the dependence on energy and is inspired to be outside in the mountains that surround Paonia. Her hobbies include mountain biking, road riding/bike commuting, whitewater kayaking, skiing in all forms, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing and gardening.

Kris SuttonPV Instructor Trainer and Curriculum DeveloperKris Sutton is experienced in grid-direct, battery UPS, and off-grid renewable energy systems and all types of PV systems. He works with architects, engineers, general contractors, building departments, and homeowners through all phases of PV design and installation. Kris is a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer and ISPQ Certified Trainer who instructs technical trainings on PV, commercial and residential electrical systems, renewable energy overview, and OSHA safety. Chris TurekOnline Program CoordinatorChris Turek comes to Solar Energy International with more than 10 years of online learning and educational technology experience working with academic organizations worldwide. He is a Sam Houston State Univeristy alumnus with a bachelor’s of business administration in information systems management and graduate-level studies at Texas A&M University in educational technology. If he isn’t biking with his wife, Monique, Chris can be found fishing for trout at the beaver dams on McClure Pass between our Paonia and Carbondale, Colorado locations. Kathy Swartz REEP Team Leader Kathy oversees Solar Energy International’s sustainable building, solar thermal, wind, micro-hydro, international, and charitable programs. Prior to coming to Solar Energy International, Kathy ran the environmental education program at Camp Arroyo, one of the U.S.’s first environmental education centers to incorporate sustainable design into all of its buildings. She was responsible for getting the camp’s first grid-tied PV system installed and incorporated solar and sustainable building concepts into the curriculum. Kathy holds a degree from West Virginia Wesleyan and enjoys gardening, canning, and hiking with Hannah the Big Newfie Dog.

Meet our team

Solar installers. Green building gurus. Social media champions. Curriculum developers. Solar Energy International’s

team is composed of a variety of dedicated professionals who bring their skills to the workplace and fun to their free time. Camilo UzquianoInstructional Designer Camilo Uzquiano develops curriculum, combining theory and hands-on experience to create educational materials for SEI’s hands-on workshops and online photovoltaics (PV) courses. Camilo graduated from Michigan Technological University with a degree in mechanical engineering. Originally from La Paz, Bolivia, Camilo is passionate about renewable energies and the great potential they offer underdeveloped countries. In his free time he enjoys playing the guitar, swimming, hiking and watching cheesy movies with great special effects.

Sandy Pickard Business ManagerSandy Pickard feels that Solar Energy International has changed the way she thinks and behaves. She’s happy to work in the accounting department, utilizing her renewable energy experience and training from SEI. Her role as business manager has been the ideal job for her personal growth for the past 15 years. Sandy has a background in speech pathology from Oklahoma State University. Laurie Guevara-Stone International Program Manager Laurie Guevara-Stone holds a master’s in energy engineering from the University of Colorado. She is fluent in Spanish, and over the past 20 years has conducted projects in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mexico and Ecuador implementing PV, solar cooking and water distillation. Laurie has researched and promoted renewable energy activities in Cuba since 1996, and is one of the nation’s experts on policy and practice in Cuba. She began SEI’s Women’s PV program, and has authored articles for Home Power, Solar Today, and Mother Earth News. Her passions include trailrunning, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and organic fair-trade chocolate.

From left to right, Camilo Uzquiano, Sandy Pickard and Laurie Guevara-Stone are all members of the Solar Energy International team.

Johnny Weiss and the polar bear in Copenhagen in 2009.

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Kevin LundyTechnical Operations ManagerKevin is Solar Energy International’s all-around project assistant, PV instructor, and an installation expert. He is an advocate of bicycle transportation. Sadly, his bicycle spends a lot of time in the shop. Kevin travels extensively with his work for Solar Energy International, and can be found at local reggae shows when he’s not teaching or installing solar. Rachel ConnorSustainable Building Program CoordinatorRachel Connor started with SEI in the summer of 2001 as an intern and was hooked from day one. After earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at Utah State University, she joined the staff in 2002 to help develop and teach SEI’s online education program. Rachel is a green building instructor born and raised in Carbondale, Colorado. She cherishes her role as a mother of two small children, and loves those “light-bulb moments” when students are inspired to build sustainable building careers or homes through SEI training. Dan GieseRegistration and Programs AssistantDan Giese comes to Solar Energy International with the convictions of a samurai. He is trained in disciplines of contemporary painting, semantics, aesthetic design, and non-motorized two-wheeled transportation. In continual effort to enrich the quality of life for his community, Dan brings a range of assistance to those who want to grow green. He registers students, prepares curriculum support materials, and interfaces with SEI members who support the organization

April E. ClarkMarketing Communications CoordinatorApril E. Clark always uses her middle initial to stand out in the sea of April Clarks in the world. She’s a trained journalist, weekly newspaper columnist and stand-up comic skilled in public relations, interviewing, editing, feature writing, graphic arts, multimedia production, web design, and social networking. She is a Purdue University and Poynter Institute for Media Studies alumna. The Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Press Association and Colorado Mountain News Media have recognized April for her notable writing and graphic achievements. A Colorado transplant from Indiana, April enjoys skiing, tennis, golf, football, and comedy.

Paul Gibb Financial Director Paul Gibb traded corporate life in Texas for western Colorado in 2000. He has helped small businesses and nonprofits with their finances while enjoying Paonia’s rural lifestyle. Paul teamed up with Solar Energy International in 2006, signing on as financial director in 2008. When not crunching numbers, Paul chases around his twin boys and provides free labor to his wife’s organic farming operation. Paul is a Boston University (MBA) and Colgate University (BA) graduate. Cindy HotchkissAccounts PayableCindy Hotchkiss is a number whiz in the SEI accounting department who came to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1969 to study liberal arts at Colorado Mountain College. Raised in Boulder, Cindy’s favorite childhood memory is horseback riding and playing cowgirl in Estes Park. She enjoys thought-provoking fiction, sweet potatoes, Grateful Dead and Jonny Lang. Cindy considers SEI a perfect fit in her life, envisioning her legacy as one that provides future generations with a greener, more sustainable Mother Earth.

Dawn Ogren Administrative Team LeaderDawn Ogren’s professional background includes 10 years in nonprofit administration. She is a self-described soccer mom who has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for 20 years. Dawn enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two sons, reading Dan Brown novels, and taking in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. She has a green thumb who sees life through rose-colored glasses. Dawn designs handcrafted jewelry and considers chocolate a major food group. Khanti MunroPV Online Manager and Instructor Trainer Khanti Munro, an ISPQ Certified PV Instructor and SEI alum, has been involved in the renewable energy field since 2001. Khanti earned a self-designed degree in renewable energy from Vermont’s Green Mountain College. Khanti finds himself working as an instructor, consultant, on- and off-grid system designer, installer, educator, and an advocate. He spends the rest of his time being a good dad, shoveling snow, playing ultimate Frisbee, hiking, traveling, building with wood, taking pictures, and catching up on sleep. Kathy Fontaine Office ManagerKathy Fontaine grew up in Texas before moving to California and Washington with her husband and two sons. After their sons were grown, the couple lived aboard a sailboat on Lake Union, Seattle, for a year before sailing down the West

Coast, through the Panama Canal, and back up through the Caribbean to Texas. Her sailboat was equipped with solar panels to recharge the batteries on board. In 2001, Kathy participated in SEI’s work/trade program, took seven renewable energy workshops, and was later hired as office manager.

Christie CantrellPV Team Leader/Operations ManagerChristie brings extensive expertise in nonprofit, small business and corporate enterprise endeavors to provide oversight and project management to SEI’s dynamic PV team. Colorado has been her home for the past 30 years, having left California’s

big city fuel crises and water shortages of the 1970s for the nurturing mountain lifestyle of the Rockies. Christie enjoys time spent with family and friends, mountain hikes, Harley trips with her husband, and Paonia’s small-town lifestyle.

Samantha Pickard Administrative AssistantSamantha is a Colorado Mountain College graduate and has been part of the SEI team for more than three years. She is always delighted to speak with those considering a green career or interested in the possibilities of renewable energy. She is at home in the Rocky Mountains and loves all forms of outdoor recreation. Sam has participated in many workshops and hopes to apply her renewable energy knowledge to an off-grid farm.

Jeff TobePV Instructor and Lab ManagerJeff came to SEI in summer 2002 as an intern and installed his first grid-tie system as a PV101 student workshop. He has designed and led system installations including grid-tie, grid-tie with battery backup, stand-alone, water pumping and micro-hydro. Jeff has also participated in projects bringing renewable energy to Native American communities. Jeff refurbishes abandoned and used bikes for students and community members as alternative transportation.

April Clark and Paul Gibb settle a friendly football wager involving the Indianapolis Colts and Paul’s favorite team, the New England Patriots.

Kevin Lundy at Solar Power International ‘10 in L.A.

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team members

From left, Solar Energy International’s popular Solar In Schools outreach in Carbondale, Colorado, and hands-on solar training in the developing world in Costa Rica.

Matthew HarrisSustainable Building Program CoordinatorMatthew Harris serves as the hands-on projects manager for all of Solar Energy International’s natural building workshops. Educated in architectural design at Arizona State University with a focus on sustainable natural building, Matthew shares a vision of a built environment focusing on regenerative, restoritive design strategies. Since 1999, Matthew has shared techniques such as cob, straw bale, adobe, and earthen plasters with people throughout the world. In the past decade he has built five straw bale homes and has helped with a handful of others.

Breccia WilsonAdministrative AssistantAt Solar Energy International, Breccia Wilson specializes in advanced word processing, e-mail use and the telephone, and has a blackbelt in data entry. She grew up in Orange County, New York. She started coming to sunny Colorado in the summers to play polocrosse 17 years ago and fell in love with the place and the people. Breccia lives in a solar-thermal and solar PV-equipped log cabin in Carbondale, Colorado. Her hobbies and interests include alternative and renewable energies, belly dancing, lucid dreams, playing the fiddle and mandolin, snowboarding, tele-skiing, skateboarding, surfing, sustainability, outdoors, traveling, film, music, the environment, and polo. Soozie LindbloomSolar In the Schools AssistantSoozie Lindbloom believes hands-on renewable energy education is paramount to ensuring the youth of today are equipped with the knowledge to make appropriate, sustainable decisions about their future. When she’s not skiing, biking, hiking or raising her baby girl, Soozie teaches K-12 students and their teachers how they can make a difference in their energy future through renewable energy, and energy conservation and efficiency. Soozie has been an environmental educator for more than 14 years, most predominantly as an instructor with both SEI and Outward Bound.

Brian MehalicAdvanced PV Online Coordinator and InstructorBrian Mehalic worked as lead installer and project manager for EV Solar Products in Arizona before joining SEI in 2008 to develop advanced PV online curriculum. He is a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer with experience designing, selling and installing on- and off-grid PV, solar thermal, wind and water-pumping systems. Brian is a Northwestern University alumnus and former SEI intern who enjoys deep-sea fishing. Brian is a regular contributor to Home Power magazine. Carol WeisPV Curriculum Developer and InstructorCarol Weis writes and updates Solar Energy International’s PV and Advanced PV curriculum and instructs in both the hands-on and online workshops. Carol also organizes SEI renewable energy trainings for other institutions and organizations. Through her work in the industry, Carol has traveled internationally to Nicaragua, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Haiti, and Mexico. She has been a trainer for SEI since 1998, and has instructed SEI’s well regarded Women’s PV class. She is a co-founder of SEI’s Solar Sisters group, and is a licensed electrician in the state of Colorado. She is a NABCEP Certified PV Installer and ISPQ Master PV Trainer. Chris SmithAdministrative AssistantChris Smith is a people-person by nature, who moved from real estate broker to office manager at our Paonia campus. She loves meeting students from all around the world. Originally from Arlington, Virginia, Chris came out west many years ago on a wild adventure that turned into her life. She settled in Silverton, Colorado, a small mountain town located over 9,000 feet in altitude. After many long winters, Chris and her husband, Steve, moved to Paonia, a bigger town at a lower altitude, but still close to the mountains. She loves the four-season climate of Paonia and the emphasis on locally-raised food.Chris has two golden retrievers, Peach and Cody, who take her for long walks every day. Her three grandchildren live in the mountain town of Sun Valley, Idaho.

Become a MemberSupport Solar Energy International with a membership

Y our support helps Solar Energy International in many ways. From funding our outreach programs to helping make the Paonia Eco-campus additions a reality, furthering our vision of a truly sustainable future

depends on the generosity of Solar Energy International members. We trust that you share our commitment to the work that lies ahead of us. And we trust that you understand how important your support is to helping Solar Energy International achieve its goals and join with others around the world in creating a sustainable future. Become a member today! Solar Energy International membership levels and benefits are valid for one year and may be renewed annually thereafter. In 2011, Solar Energy International’s 20th Anniversary is a time for celebration, but also a time for shoring up our ability to continue and to expand our work. Please join us in this worthy endeavor by making a gift to the SEI Sustainability Fund. Solar Energy International is a tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Annual membership dues and donations may be tax-deductible (check with your financial advisor), and no matter the size, will have enduring value. Visit our website at to join online, or submit the form on the following page. Thank you from all of us at Solar Energy International. Here’s to 20 more years of success!

Carol Weis with SEI friend Henry Red Cloud receiving their Interstate Renewable Energy Council awards at Solar Power International in 2010.

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Solar Energy International | (970) 963-8855 38 20th anniversary training catalog | 2011 39 renewable energy solar training online courses sustainability hands-on workshops outreach

resourcesmembersMembership levels and benefits Sustainable Friend: $1-$99

Your membership will support our invaluable outreach prorams.

Sustainable Supporter: $100-$249One $50 credit to any Solar Energy International online course or in-person workshop of your choice, and one-year subscription to Home Power magazine.*

Sustainable Sponsor: $250-$499Two $50 credits to any Solar Energy International online course or in-person workshop of your choice, and one-year subscription to Home Power magazine.*

Sustainable Colleague: $500-$999Three $50 credits to any Solar Energy International online course or in-person workshop of your choice, and one-year subscription to Home Power magazine.* Access to the Alumni Career Center (ACC), members-only webinars, and job postings on the ACC.

You will also receive website recognition for your business with optional logo and link to your business website or e-mail address.

Sustainable Partner: $1,000-$2,499Four $50 credits to any Solar Energy International online course or in-person workshop of your choice, and one-year subscription to Home Power magazine.* Access to the Alumni Career Center (ACC), members-only webinars, and job postings on the ACC. You will also receive website recognition for your business with optional logo and link to your business website or e-mail address.

Support SEI’s Outreach ProgramsPlease make a donation to one of SEI’s outreach programs. Your support helps SEI bring renewable energy technologies to those in need.

A Home Power magazine subscription for memberships of $100 or more is available at no cost to you. Are you interested? Yes, I would like Home Power magazine*Only one discount per person per workshop allowed, and can be renewed annually with membership.

SIS – Solar in the Schools Scholarship for women’s program Native American program

INVEST – International volunteer program General scholarship fund Scholarship for people from less developed countries

Check (payable to SEI) enclosed. Please charge my: Visa MasterCard American Express Discover

Card Number: ____________________________Exp._____ Security Code:_____




City: ___________________________________State:____ Zip:_______________


Telephone: ___________________________Fax:__________________________


Membership cost: $________ + Outreach program donation: $_________ = Total enclosed:

J o i n o n l i n e a t s o l a r e n e r g y . o r g

NABCEP CertificationAfter successfully completing PV101, participants are eligible to sit for the North American Board of Certified

Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Entry Level Exam. Both NABCEP and SEI recommend students do not take the exam immediately following PV101, but rather spend additional time preparing. The NABCEP exam includes questions on grid-direct and battery-based PV systems. If students elect not to take PV203 before the exam, they should spend significant time independently studying topics related to battery-based systems, and post-course review recommended by NABCEP. Learn more about NABCEP and the requirements and recommendations for sitting for exams at ISPQ Accreditation

SEI’s PV workshops are accredited through the Institute for Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ), which is overseen by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Our wind and solar thermal accreditation is in

the process. ISPQ provides a set of standards for evaluating different training programs. These standards were developed as a framework for people to compare the course content and training quality of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and distributed generation technology courses. To find out more about ISPQ, visit

Workshop AtmosphereSolar Energy International’s workshop size is limited to a learning-conducive student-teacher ratio. We stress safety and consideration. People from different cultures attend SEI’s workshops, and all participants are expected to treat people of various backgrounds and abilities with respect. Workshops are taught in English unless otherwise noted.

College Credits The Consortium for Education in Renewable Energy Technologies (CERET) offers certificates in renewable energy. Certificates are granted through Madison Area Technical College (MATC). SEI’s online courses qualify for college credits through MATC and towards a renewable energy certificate. Visit online for details.

MaterialsTuition includes all workshop materials. Participants receive a notebook, and in some cases an additional textbook and/or CD, upon arrival at the workshop.

Waiting List If a workshop is full, students are placed on the waiting list at no charge. If space becomes available, SEI contacts the first person on the list, allowing 24 hours for registeration before SEI contacts the next person.

TransfersTo transfer a space to someone in the same company or family, a $100 administration fee is charged.

CancellationsIf cancelling prior to 30 days before the workshop start date, 50% of the total tuition is non-refundable. A written cancellation is required. If cancelling within 30 days of the beginning of the workshop, the entire tuition is non-refundable. Rarely, SEI must cancel a workshop due to low enrollment, instructor illness or other unforeseen circumstances. SEI notifies participants if a workshop they have registered for has been cancelled. They may enroll in another workshop (based on availability) or receive a full refund of tuition. Notification of cancellation normally occurs one month prior to the beginning of the workshop; in rare cases, however, it may be less. SEI is not responsible for losses incurred on housing, travel or other arrangements.

Books and MerchandiseSEI’s photovoltaic curriculum uses our revised textbook, Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual. Filled with examples and practice exercises, this practical manual provides an excellent introduction to solar electricity, system design, and installation methods. Also available in Spanish. Find our textbook and a variety of renewable energy books, SEI T-shirts, stickers, and Solar PathFinders online at

Page 21: Solar Enrgy Training and Classes Catalog 2011

Solar Energy International | (970) 963-8855 40

76 South Second St.Carbondale, CO 81623-0715

1991 - 2011

How is Solar Energy International celebrating 20 years of training in 2011?

Let us count the ways ...

New courses. More blog posts. Free webinars.

And that’s

just the beginning.

Stay tuned at

Nonprofit OrganizationU.S. Postage


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