SEI Newsletter
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Issue 87 - July 2010
Participants in SEI's Advanced Renewable Energy for Educators workshop assembled Solar Suitcases which are bound for medical clinics in developing countries. SEI's two teacher training workshops were supported by funding from XCEL Energy and the Garfield New Energy Communities Initiative. Check out the video on our YouTube channel
SEI Launches Online Alumni & Career Center
NRCA training
SEI is proud to introduce the Online Alumni & Career Center. This resource provides networking connections for current SEI students and Alumni and many premium services like a Resume posting board, Job opportunities, and interviews with industry thought leaders. This online resource is open to everyone for exploring links and posted materials to help you in your career exploration, but the networking tools and premium services are available only to our Alumni and registered students.
  • Visit to visit our new online campus
  • If you are an SEI alum, look for the special announcement email coming to your inbox soon, so you can log in
  • Click on Online Alumni & Career Center under "My courses"
  • And enter to win a $1000 scholarship to SEI workshops by filling out a "Where are you today?" Survey
More SEI news: If you are interested in work-trading at SEI in Paonia, CO in exchange for SEI workshops, we are looking for people to start in August and October. Contact Kathy Swartz for more details.

Upcoming Workshops at SEI
straw bale workshop
If you would like to learn how to implement renewable energy projects in the developing world, or how to build beautiful efficient straw bale homes then SEI has some great workshops coming up for you.

Highlights of the Renewable Energy for the Developing World workshop include case studies from around the world, constructing efficient "Rocket" stoves, and building solar suitcases for WE CARE Solar. The Straw Bale workshop includes extensive hands-on building straw bale structures and making and applying natural plasters.

New PV Workshop in Canada
The Fourth Pig
SEI's first Canadian PV training will be hosted by The Fourth Pig Worker Co-op, a non-profit co-op that builds and promotes sustainable buildings. Two of the Fourth Pig founders, Glen Byrom and Melinda Zytaruk are SEI alumni.

Melinda, the General Manager of the Fourth Pig says, "We are very excited to be able to bring SEI's high quality education to Ontario, especially as Ontario is such a great place for renewable energy right now with the feed-in tariff and the rapidly growing solar industry. SEI's fantastic and comprehensive training is just what is needed to help build the success of solar in Ontario." To register, go to, space is limited.

80 kW Community Solar Farm
Solar Farm
CO State Senator Gail Schwartz (center) with CEC members
The Mid-Valley Community Solar Farm in El Jebel, CO, just down the road from SEI's offices, broke ground on June 17. The Solar Farm is the Clean Energy Collective’s (CEC) first community-owned solar array and the first of its kind in the nation. The CEC model allows a community to collectively own a clean energy facility — solar, wind, biomass, micro hydro — and directly reap the benefits.

Holy Cross Energy's residential and commercial customers are eligible to place reservations in the 80 kW Mid-Valley solar array for $3.15/watt. Holy Cross will then credit members’ utility bills directly each month at $.11/kWh based on how much solar each member owns in the array. The construction of the solar array will be done by Sunsense Solar Electric, a company run by SEI alum Scott Ely.

Solar Instructor Training with DOE
DOE map
DOE Solar Training Network
SEI recently participated in the Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network meeting that was held in Washington, DC. SEI Executive Director Johnny Weiss and Solar Thermal Coordinator Kathy Swartz met with representatives from the nine Regional Providers for Training-the Trainers for PV and Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC). SEI was honored to be sitting at this table, along with some old friends, to discuss the big picture of training in the United States and how best to implement PV and SHC training in community colleges and technical schools.

The meeting was an opportunity for the Regional Providers to learn about what the others are doing and to meet with DOE field officers. Chuck Marken, SEI's solar hot water instructor and SEI’s project partners — Levi Belnap, Executive Director of Utah Solar Energy Association, and Lee Brinton with Salt Lake Community College — participated as well.

Solving the Water-Energy Crisis
Water crisis
The world is running out of water. By 2030, the UN projects that 60 percent of the global population will face water shortages, increasing social unrest and creating additional risk for companies.

As demand for water increases, so too will demand on the energy system. Technologies like desalination require enormous amounts of fossil energies to process water. But burning more fossil resources exacerbates climate change, thus making water shortages more severe. And more severe water shortages mean that we'll need yet more fossil energies to process water.

This RenewableEnergyWorld podcast looks at how companies are implementing new technologies to lower the energy intensity of desalination, monitor water use, and create new ways of generating energy at wastewater treatment facilities and desalination plants.

SEI Advisory Board Member Receives Award for NEC Work
Rob Wills
Recently at the Small Wind Conference, SEI’s Advisory Board member, Dr. Robert Wills won the Wind Powering America Small Wind Advocacy Award in recognition for his leadership and dedication in championing the US small wind turbine market.

Wills, along with Robert Preus of XZERES Wind Corp, were instrumental in writing the National Electric Code (NEC) 694—Small Wind Electric Systems. The 2011 NEC includes this new article which will increase safety and validate the small wind industry. Article 694 (which is based on PV Article 690 -photovoltaics) includes sections on installation, circuit sizing based on maximum output power, disconnecting means, wiring methods, and most importantly grounding.

Upcoming Events
American Renewable Energy Day
August 19 - 22, 2010 - Aspen, CO

National and international speakers along with renewable energy organization booths from all over the world

Southwest Renewable Energy Conference
Sept. 14 - 16, 2010 - Santa Fe, NM

Evaluation and discussion of renewable energy development on tribal, federal, state and private lands

Solar Thermal ’10
Sept 30th - Oct. 1st, 2010 - Milwaukee, WI

A National Solar Heating and Cooling Conference and Expo for the solar thermal professional.

Biogas USA 2010
October 13 - 14, 2010 - San Francisco, CA

Leaders of the US biogas industry will examine how to develop commercially successful biogas projects and address the latest technological advances in production.

Your Generosity Ensures our Success!
SEI welcomes new members! As a membership-based non-profit, SEI's members are the heart of our organization and allow us to continue our educational programs. SEI staff are passionate about the work we do and membership dues help sustain our renewable energy endeavors.

Please join us! Membership benefits include (depending on membership level) discounts on workshops and a one year subscription to either Home Power or E magazine.

Click here for details on how to become an SEI member.

To all SEI members...SEI sends thanks!
In This Issue

SEI LaunchesOnline Alumni & Career Center

Upcoming Workshops at SEI

New PV Workshop in Canada

80 kW Community Solar Farm

Solar Instructor Training with DOE

Solving the Water-Energy Crisis

SEI Advisory Board Member Receives Award for NEC Work

Upcoming Events

Your Generosity Ensures our Success!

Featured Workshop
Renewable Energy for the Developing World
August 2 - 6, Carbondale, CO

Hands-On Workshops

View all hands-on workshops >

Solar Electric Fundamentals & Grid Direct Design
August 2 - 6, Boulder, CO
Sept. 13 - 17, Fayetteville, AR

Grid Direct Solar Electric Lab Week
August 16 - 20, Paonia, CO
September 20 - 24, Paonia, CO

Renewable Energy for the Developing World
August 2 - 6,Carbondale, CO

Straw Bale Construction and Natural Plasters
Aug 30 - Sept 3, Paonia, CO

Online Courses

View all Online Courses >

Please register early. These courses will fill.

Renewable Energy for the Developing World
Sept. 6 - Oct. 17, Online

Solar Electric Fundamentals and Grid-Direct Design
July 26 - August 29, Online

Grid Direct PV Systems and Code Criteria
August 2 - Sept. 12, Online

International Workshops

Sign up early to reserve your seat.

Renewable Energy and Nature Tour of Costa Rica
November 7 - 18, COSTA RICA

Renewable Energy for Rural Villages
December 1 - 9, NICARAGUA

Wind Power for Rural Communities
December12 - 20, NICARAGUA

Browse Workshops
International - Rural Development

Micro-Hydro Power

Renewable Energy for Educators

Solar Electricity (Photovoltaics)

Solar Thermal

Sustainable Building

Sustainable Transportation

Wind Power

Women's Workshops

SEI thanks our new business members.

Hayward Electric Co.
Wayne Espeland

See all SEI's Business Members


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PO Box 715 Carbondale, CO 81623
39845 Mathews Lane Paonia, CO 81428
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