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Issue 90 - October 2010
PV wind and solar thermal
In This Issue
Solar in New Jersey
Solar Restaurant Opening Soon!
Community Energy Franchises
SEI at Solar Power International
Sustainable Residential Design Project
New PV Products at SEI Eco-campus
Rivers for Life
When Clean Energy Gets Dirty
Featured Alum - David Lipschitz


Featured Workshop

Upcoming Webinar

The Solar Business
with Jeff Spies
November 2 -- 10:00 am PST



Upcoming Hands-on Workshops

Home Built Wind Generators
October 25 - 30 -- Guemes Island, WA
Taught by international wind expert Hugh Piggott from Scotland

Solar Electric Fundamentals and Grid-Direct Design
Nov. 8 - 12 -- Boulder, CO
Nov. 15 - 19 -- Bordentown, NJ



Upcoming International workshops
Upcoming Online Courses





















SEI thanks our new business members:


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

Find us on Facebook        View our profile on LinkedIn
 
Follow us on Twitter      Visit our YouTube Channel


Solar in New Jersey
photo courtesy of PSE&G
New Jersey Solar
New Jersey ranks second in the nation in solar behind California with a solar capacity of 128 MW.  And solar promises to keep growing in the garden state.  The New Jersey power company PSE&G has a program underway to install 200 watt PV systems on 200,000 utility poles and street lights by 2012. Once installed, the solar systems are expected to provide 40 MW of clean energy, enough to power approximately 40,000 homes.

SEI has some exciting workshops coming up in New Jersey in November:


Solar Restaurant Opening Soon! 
The soon to be completed "Restaurante Solar"
Solar Restaurant
The Solar Women of Totogalpa, the inspiring women that SEI works with in Nicaragua, are soon to open the first solar restaurant in Latin America.  The restaurant, in the small village of Sabana Grande, will offer solar cooked foods, solar dried fruits and coffee, and will be PV powered. 

In December, SEI is offering a workshop in Nicaragua with the Solar Women and Grupo Fenix.  SEI workshop participants may even be the ones to install the PV system on the restaurant!  If you'd like to join us in Nicaragua, or learn about installing PV in Costa Rica, check out the opportunities below - 


Community Energy Franchises
CEC Community Solar Garden
CEC community Solar Garden
Are you interested in starting a community-owned renewable energy project?  The Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is now offering its customer-owned renewable energy project tools nationally, complete with all the tools and technology required. The company launched a successful community solar project in Colorado down the road from SEI and is building out at least 2MW more!

The CEC worked with many national tax and energy attorneys to create a safe contractual framework for organizations who want to develop their own community energy projects. 

 Some of the tools include:
  • RemoteMeter software (electronic billing system)
  • MyCleanEnergy user portal that provides web and mobile-based access to real-time solar data (including smart phone applications) 
  • Company, operations and maintenance structure
  • Tax structure, processes and documentation
  • All contracts needed to sign up customers and utilities
Under the CEC community-owned model, members receive the best of all worlds: the same rebates, subsidies, depreciation and tax credits that are available to home and business-based systems, and the ownership of solar through a turn-key, affordable avenue.

For more information contact Lauren Martindale at lauren@easycleanenergy.com

 

SEI at Solar Power International 
Carol Weis and Henry Red Cloud receiving their IREC awards
Carol Weis IREC
SEI staff spent an incredible week at the Solar Power International 2010 conference.  SEI staff member Carol Weis won a special recognition award from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).  The special recognition awards go to individuals who have been critical in advancing the growth of renewable energy technologies. IREC recognized Carol for her dedication to bringing top-notch training to so many people, for her inclusiveness and caring, and for her commitment to raising the bar for the renewable energy workforce.

Lakota Solar Enterprises, along with their partner Trees, Water & People, received the IREC award in the Clean Energy ARRA Project Category, for developing the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center.

SEI also led a one-day PV installation workshop attended by over 70 people.  This intermediate Level PV System focused on National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements, best practices, and safe working procedures for installing and troubleshooting solar systems.
 

Sustainable Residential Design Project
Straw bale raising at 2nd St. LIFE project
Straw bale raising
The 2nd St. L.I.F.E. Project, run by SEI straw bale instructor Laura Bartels, is an applied research project for sustainable and affordable residential design in cold climates.  It is a great educational opportunity and model for design professionals, contractors, code officials and homeowners.

The design strives to limit use of high impact materials such as concrete and petroleum based products while creating a super insulated low impact and high performance home. The project employs small footprint passive solar design, perlite underfloor insulation, straw bale walls with post and beam framing, heat recovery system, high performance windows, solar hot water, earthen floors, earthen and lime plasters, timber frame exterior detailing, and more.

Upcoming events include a Timber Framing Workshop Nov. 16 - Nov. 21st, and other workshops including plastering, earthen floors and Tadelakt. To learn more about internships, sign up for email news, or attend an event or workshop, visit www.greenweaver.com.
 

New PV Products at SEI Eco-campus
SEI Ecocampus
Ecocampus
SEI recently hosted two PV industry representatives on the Paonia campus.  The purpose of the visits from these industry representatives was to demonstrate new products available for PV installations. 
 
John Berdner, with SolarEdge, made a visit during a recent PV lab workshop, to present SolarEdge's new "inverter and DC power optimizer" concept to both staff and students alike.  At the conclusion of his stay, he generously donated an inverter package that will enable SEI to demonstrate this new technology during future PV lab workshops. 
 
Quick Mount PV also made a recent visit to the Paonia campus.  Johan Alfsen stopped in to update SEI staff on new products and certifications for Quick Mount PV's product offerings, and to help produce short video clops on their products for SEI's educational use.  Quick Mount PV made a generous hardware donation to keep our lab systems up to date with the latest in roof flashing products for the PV industry. 

Thanks to these companies and many others, SEI has one of the most up-to-date and comprehensive PV training facilities in the nation!

 

 Rivers for Life
A banner protesting the El Zapatillo dam in Temacapulin
Temaca
SEI International Program Manager Laurie Guevara-Stone recently traveled to Temacapulín, Mexico to present at the Rivers for Life meeting organized by International Rivers.  The meeting brought together dam affected people and their allies from 60 different countries, and offered a unique opportunity for information sharing, training, strategizing and making friends.


Large dams have displaced an estimated 40 to 80 million people. At present about 2 million people are displaced every year by large dams. This does not take into account people whose livelihoods are impacted by dams The small town of Temacapulín is threatened by the El Zapotillo Dam, a 105-meter dam that would flood three nearby villages and disrupt the ecology of the Río Verde.

To learn more about protecting rivers and defending the rights of communities that depend on them visit InternationalRivers.org.  Read a summary of the Tamacapulín event here.



 When Clean Energy Gets Dirty, and Dirty Energy Goes Clean
mafiaRenewables aren't always clean - especially when criminal organizations are involved in their deployment. Some recent high-profile arrests in Italy and Central Europe illustrate the very real problem of Mafia groups strong-arming their way into the renewable energy sector.


Listen to the podcast on RenewableEnergyWorld.com to learn how Mafia groups are getting into renewables.
 


  Featured Alum - David Lipschitz
Gecko rock pvDavid Lipschitz (third from left in photo) is the founder and director of My Power Station, a renewable energy company in South Africa.  He recently helped complete a 1.6 kW PV array at the Gecko Rock eco adventure nature reserve, near Touws River in the Western Cape. The system will be used to supply power for a residence on the property and a conference and training facility for the nature reserve.

 

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