Issue 89 - September 2010
DOE Train the Trainers
In This Issue
New Online Campus Goes Live
Get Your Power from the Wind
Producing Solar Below 70 Cents a Watt
SEI Executive Director Discusses the Future of Solar Energy
The Sustainable Community of Gaviotas
SEI Holds First Wind Training in Puerto Rico
Featured Alum - Lura Griffiths
Upcoming Events

Featured Workshop

Upcoming Hands-on Workshops

Solar Hot Water
October 4 - 8 -- Paonia, CO

Solar & Radiant Heating
October 9 - 10 -- Paonia, CO

Solar Electric Fundamentals and Grid-Direct Design
with 14 kW installation!
October 11 - 16 -- Guemes Island, WA

Wind Electric Systems Maintenance & Repair
October 18 - 23 -- Guemes Island, WA

Upcoming International workshops
Upcoming Online Courses

Outreach programs

SEI Bookstore

Workshops and Courses

Learn More

Work-trade Program

workshop catalog

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Solar Energy International has a strong community presence on social networks. Please consider joining these SEI groups:

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New Online Campus Goes Live
Online Campus
Solar Energy International is proud to announce the completion of our new Online Campus. Visit the new online campus at solarenergytraining.org. We have spent the past six months building a world-class online learning environment with new enrollment options, new teaching and learning technologies, and new courses. These innovations make online learning easier and more engaging, even for someone who has never taken an online course. 
  • New Webinars with Industry Experts
    Including the upcoming Grow Your Solar Business with Jeff Spies, Tuesday, September 28, at 10 am PST
  • New Pricing for the End of 2010
    In developing the new online campus, we adopted more cost-effective technologies and will be passing the savings onto our students for some of our most popular online courses:
  • New Enrollment Options
    Register today and start your course immediately! Starting this fall/winter, Solar Energy International will offer new open enrollment courses, such as our new free Intro to Renewable Energy online course - stay tuned!

Get Your Power from the Wind 
Wind workshop
Wind power is one of the fastest-growing sources of renewable energy around the world. In the United States, which passed Germany to become the country producing the most wind power, the Department of Energy has estimated that wind power could account for 20 percent of the nation's electricity supply by 2030.

If you're interested in learning how you can get your power from the wind, or if you are already have a wind turbine and want to know how to maintain and repair it, Solar Energy International has many upcoming opportunities for you!

Producing Solar Below 70 Cents a Watt
PV moduleRemember back in the good 'ol days of 2008 when manufacturing solar PV below a dollar a watt was a big deal? How quaint that vision seems today. Okay, so the sub-one dollar production cost is still a major milestone. But as more companies approach or cross the threshold, the solar industry is starting to compete at a much different level.

RenewableEnergyWorld.com reports that in a big announcement this week, the equipment manufacturer Oerlikon says that its new fab line is able to pump out 10 percent-efficient amorphous-silicon (a-Si) thin-film modules for under 70 cents a watt.

Listen to the RenewableEnergyWorld.com podcast to learn more.


Johnny Weiss on CSPAN SEI Executive Director Johnny Weiss Discusses the Future of Solar Energy
On Aug. 21, Johnny Weiss, Solar Energy International's executive director, joined representatives from other solar energy groups to discuss the future of solar energy at the American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) annual conference in Aspen, CO. Topics included government funding and subsidies, educational outreach, and changing technologies. Along with Johnny, panel members also included Rhone Resch from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and John Woolard of BrightSource Energy.To see footage of the panel discussion on C-Span click here.
The Sustainable Community of Gaviotas
Paolo Lugari in front of a mural
depicting Gaviotas
Gaviotas mural
Far away from everything, in the bleak plains of eastern Colombia, lies Gaviotas, a community of hope. Forty years ago, Development Specialist Paolo Lugari brought a group of engineers, dreamers, street kids, and local Guahibo Indians together to come up with technologies to help them live sustainably in this desolate area of Colombia. And through trial and error, they succeeded. 

In Gaviotas, they now manufacture their own solar hot water collectors, wind mills, and an efficient water pump called a "sleeve pump." They produce all their own food, and earn an income through sale of their renewable energy technologies, sustainable forest products, and pure water.

SEI's International Program Manager, Laurie Guevara-Stone, had the chance to visit Gaviotas with a group of 30 people from around the world, to see first-hand how this community has proven that sustainability is possible. Now the village is inviting another 40 people for a fully hosted day visit this November. In addition, Gaviotas founder Paolo Lugari is personally inviting people to spend two additional days in conversation with him and other Gaviotans in and around the Gaviotas office in Bogotá. Visit Friends of Gaviotas to sign up for this amazing opportunity.


 SEI Holds First Residential and Small Commercial Wind Training in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Wind workshop Solar Energy International, in partnership with Energtech (Dr. Albith Colon), Edison Energy Engineering (Edison Pares), Colegio de Ingenieros y Agrimensores de Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Rico Energy Office, recently offered a five-day wind training workshop in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The training, taught by Ian Woofenden and Jenny Heinzen, included more than 31 Puerto Rican engineers interested in sizing, designing, and/or installing systems. The class featured tours and hands-on labs, including turbine assembly and site analysis. The class was so successful, Energtech is hoping to offer it again in November.

  Featured Alum - Lura Griffiths
Lura GriffithsLura Griffiths is an alum of Solar Energy International as well as a former office volunteer, and a graduate of the Renewable Energy Engineering program at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Portland, Ore. 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. A former Colorado resident and 15-year employee of Aspen Skiing Company (ASC), Lura first became motivated during her time with ASC and while taking classes at SEI. She has pledged to help protect the natural environment, and specifically to work toward dramatically changing the way energy is generated and used in the U.S. and around the world.

  Upcoming Events
  • Solar Power International
    October 12 - 14, 2010 - Los Angeles, CA
    The largest solar conference and expo in North America.  SEI will be offering an Intermediate Level PV System pre-conference workshop on Oct. 11 which will focus on NEC requirements, best practices, and safe working procedures for installing and troubleshooting solar systems. Click here to register.  And stop by SEI's booth #1331 to say hi!

  • 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.
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Save 10%
As a thank you to our alumni, we would like to extend a 10% discount on any future face-to-face workshop or online course. We value you and your professional and personal goals and hope this discount helps you along the way. If you have any questions about this discount or any other training information, please feel free to contact us at anytime at (970) 963-8855.
Offer Expires: December 31, 2010