Issue 92 - December 2010
Staff retreat 2010
In This Issue
Free Online Course
Green Job Training
Mutli- MW PV Projects
RE & Energy Efficiency in Cuba
Ken Walz - Professor of the Year
Mayan Farmers Mobilize
Featured Alum - Brian Clark

Featured Workshop

Upcoming Webinar

Battery Topology, Safety and Maintenance
 Dec. 15 -- 1 pm PST

Upcoming Hands-on Workshops

Solar Electric Design & Installation (Grid-Direct)
Feb. 21 - 26 -- Tucson, AZ
Mar. 14-18 -- Fayetteville, AR
March 21 - 26 -- Tucson, AZ
March 28 - Apr. 2 -- Guemes Island, WA

March 14 - 18 -- Rocklin, CA

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

SEI Launches Free Online Intro Course
Intro to Renewable Energy
Introduction to Renewable Energy is a free online course for those who wish to learn the basics of renewable energy - including where it is found, how we can harvest it for use in our homes and how it can help ease pressures on the environment. You will not become an expert through this course, but you will get to know renewable energy in its many forms - helping you to decide whether solar, wind or other renewable technologies are right for you.

If you have never taken an online course from Solar Energy International, this is a great preview into our online course structure and learning experience.  We hope this will lower any inhibitions you may have to taking an online course by giving you this free opportunity to experience the SEI Online Campus.  

This free 10-lesson course includes lessons on conservation and efficiency, sustainable building, solar thermal, solar electricity, wind power, micro-hydro power, renewable energy for the developing world, and the economics of renewable energy.

Sign up for this free online course now!

New Online Courses for the New Year
Start the new year off right with these upcoming online courses, which include our newest online offerings, taking place Jan. 10 - Feb. 20:

Free NABCEP Continuing Education Credit
Battery-Based Systems Webinar

BatteryWednesday, Dec. 15
1 p.m. Pacific Time (2 p.m. MST, 4 p.m. EST)
Solar Energy International and Trojan Battery Company have teamed up to offer a free informational session on battery-based topics, and present a brief introduction to SEI's new online course, PV203: Battery-Based PV Systems and Code Criteria. This solar training builds upon the core concepts from PV101, with a specific emphasis on battery-based system design. In the online PV203 course, students will work through step-by-step design process for battery-based applications, including stand-alone (off-grid), grid-tied with battery back-up, and hybrid systems. Topics such as load analysis, component selection, battery safety, voltage drop, and commissioning procedures will be presented.The webinar will introduce the PV203 online course and offer an engaging presentation by Trojan Battery Company. Participants receive one hour of Continuing Education Credit toward NABCEP re-certification by attending this free webinar.  Register for our free battery webinar here.

Green Job Training 
Denver PV workshop
In October, SEI taught a PV workshop for iCAST and the Denver Green Jobs Initiative. iCast is a nonprofit organization which provides economic, environmental, and social benefits to economically disadvantaged individuals and communities; and provides education and training that builds local capacity. The Denver Green Jobs Initiative program provides free green jobs training, supportive services and job placement assistance for residents of Denver.

The Solar Electric Fundamentals class participants consisted of lower income, inner city folks who have a strong interest in renewable energies both for employment reasons and to help better their neighborhoods. "It was refreshing to learn with them and to discuss such topics as creative financing, healthy eating and life in the hood," said SEI instructor Ed Eaton.  "All 28 agreed that the real work lies with the very folks who really need help meeting their energy needs but have little income to facilitate such changes." The class provided an overview of the three basic PV system applications with a focus on grid-direct systems, and also prepared participants to take the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Entry Level Exam.

 Multi-MW PV Projects Around the World
SunEdison array in Italy
photo credit: SunEdison

The commercial and utility-scale solar services company SunEdison just completed a 70-MW solar PV project in Northeast Italy. The project, which was completed in 9 months, is now the biggest operating PV plant in Europe.  SunEdison has added quite a few MW to its portfolio lately. In two months, the company has completed multiple systems over 1 MW and signed agreements for projects around the world totaling more than 400 MW.

The past month has seen a number of big solar PV project announcements globally, including in Italy, India, Spain and the US.  Visit

RenewableEnergyWorld.com for the complete story.

Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency in Cuba

Cuban school
photo: Mario Alberto Arrastia Avila
Join SEI and Global Exchange on a trip to Cuba to learn about the country's amazing progress in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Cuba has electrified thousands of rural schools and hundreds of rural health centers with solar photovoltaic systems, giving every Cuban child access to computers and educational TV.  2006 was declared "The Year of the Energy Revolution", and government ministries and NGOs developed a nationwide plan focused on energy efficiency and independence.
  • The entire electrical system was upgraded
  • Efficient appliances were distributed among the citizenry
  • Cadres of young social workers went from house to house in every community teaching energy efficient methods of home maintenance
  • Cuba became the first country in the world to completely phase out incandescent light bulbs.
During 2006 - 2007 Cuba saved close to one million tons of imported oil through these measures, and reduced their CO2 emissions by 5 million tons. Join us in April for an opportunity to see these accomplishments first-hand.

SEI Associate Ken Walz Named Wisconsin Professor of the Year
Ken Walz SEI Associate and Madison Area Technical College (MATC) Professor Dr. Kenneth Walz was named Wisconsin Professor of the Year by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).  The U.S. Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country-those who excel as teachers and influence the lives and careers of their students. It is recognized as one of the most prestigious awards honoring undergraduate teaching.

Ken is the Director for the Consortium for Education in Renewable Energy Technology (CERET) at MATC, of which SEI is a partner.  CERET Renewable Energy Certificates are designed to provide students with the theoretical knowledge necessary to begin a career in energy management and renewable energy technology.  Many of SEI's online workshops qualify for CERET credit.

Mayan Farmers Mobilize Against Climate Change 

Mayan forest and farming communities marched at the UN Climate Conference (COP 16) in Cancun to pressure governments to commit to deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and to ensure that the rights of rural and indigenous communities are protected in any decisions. A deepening drought is disrupting the Mayan's traditional corn crops and increasing food and economic insecurity in the rural regions surrounding Cancun.

Recent U.S. scientific data shows Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as one of the world's worst areas where drought is projected to deepen. The International Forum on Globalization (IFG) partnered in this mobilization with the Organization of Forest Cooperatives of the Zona Maya (OEPFZM) and the National Union of Autonomous Regional Peasant Farmer Organizations-National Coordinator (UNORCA-CN).

Visit IFG's website for more information on the Mayan mobilization.  For more information on what happened at COP16, visit the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

  Featured Alum - Brian Clark
Brian ClarkSEI alum Brian Clark founded the  organization SolarGoodWill.org which teaches remote villages in third world countries and Indian Reservations in the USA how to build solar panels and create their own electricity.

So far, Brian has traveled to Nicaragua, Uganda, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and
Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico, to provide people with renewable energy technologies and education.

Bring the gift of renewable energy to your loved ones this holiday season!
A gift certificate to an SEI workshop or a membership to SEI makes a perfect gift for the holidays.

Thank you for supporting Solar Energy International

To all Solar Energy International members, SEI sends thanks!

Help create a sustainable future. Please forward this e-newsletter to your friends and colleagues.

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Save 10%
As a thank you to our alumni, we would like to extend a 10% discount on any 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