The Solar Business
with Jeff Spies
November 2 -- 10:00 am PST
Upcoming Hands-on Workshops
SEI thanks our new business members:
Solar Energy International has a strong community presence on social networks. Please consider joining these SEI groups:
Solar in New Jersey|
photo courtesy of PSE&G
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"
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
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
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.
|SEI at Solar Power International
Carol Weis and Henry Red Cloud receiving their IREC awards
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 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.
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
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 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
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|
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|
David 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.