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Solar Energy International Celebrates 20 Years of Renewable Energy Education with Style

Posted by: april
August 18, 2011

April E. ClarkBy April E. Clark, Marketing Communications Coordinator

Solar Energy International 20th AnniversaryWhat a weekend! Solar Energy International celebrated 20 years of renewable energy and solar training Aug. 12-14 here in sunny Colorado. The weekend welcomed SEI friends, colleagues, alumni, and board members who traveled from Washington D.C. to Washington state, and nearly everywhere in between. Fun was had by all and the renewable energy buzz remained strong throughout the weekend's events. 

The momentus weekend began with rafting through Glenwood Canyon in Glenwood Springs. Nearly 40 alumni, staff and board members hit the whitewater for a relaxing blue-sky afternoon on the river. Many thanks to the folks at Timberline Tours for a great ride and BBQ, and to Carbondale Beerworks for the suds after the river revelry. Great networking and recreation in the Rockies.Solar Energy International 20th Anniversary

On Saturday, Aug. 13, folks gathered at SEI's workshop locale at Third Street Center in Carbondale for a BBQ, libations, solar cooking demonstrations, music by Carbondale's own All the Pretty Horses, face painting, hula hooping, juggling, hack sack, badminton, volleyball, and more. The sunny weather proved to be the perfect backdrop for a day of catching up, talking shop, and celebrating the last 20 years of Solar Energy International's renewable energy education mission.
Solar Energy International 20th Anniversary
Special thanks to Delicious Orchards for donating Paonia fruit and juices, Alpine Bank for offering the big BBQ grill, SEI team members Ed Eaton and Matthew Harris for solar cooking demos, Emily Granato for bringing the hula hoop fun, Jammim' Jim for juggling action, Ms. Amber Sparkles and Ms. Stacy Evans for face painting, and All the Pretty Horses for the fantastic musical accompaniment for this event. Revolution Brewery in Paonia was gracious enough to donate kegs of its award-winning SEIPA India Pale Ale-style brew, and Sopris Liquors in Carbondale stepped up to the plate to provide wine and mojito magic.

 We would also like to thank the Town of Carbondale for acknowledging SEI with a Town Proclamation on Aug. 9, 2011, for 20 years of collaborative achievements and community spirit. Thank you, Mayor Stacy Bernot. Also, thanks to all of our volunteers who helped with set-up and take-down, food and drinks service, and welcoming our guests and volunteers. We couldn't have hosted such a big party without you, Carbondale and Paonia!

Solar Energy International 20th AnniversaryWith Sunday came a little mountain rain that quickly cleared up for the scenic drive from Carbondale to Paonia on Highway 113 to tour our PV Lab Facility on Mathews Lane. SEI team members Matthew Harris and Kris Sutton filled the group in on the facility and SEI's future plans for development. Many thanks to our generous supporters of SEI that donate PV materials for our lab weeks. We know our students appreciate the opportunity to learn about different PV mounting applications and this facility surely provides it. After the tour, the group enjoyed a fresh organic lunch from Delicious Orchards before heading back over the hill to Carbondale. Thanks for driving the bus, Rachel!

Also many thanks to Karyn Ellis, former SEI work-trader and alumna, who helped with the party, took wonderful photos, and even wrote about it in her Simple Solar Solutions {with Moxie!} blog:  

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