Renewable Energy Education
for a Sustainable Future

  Home | Workshops | Membership | Contact   SEI Newsletter, Issue 71 - March 2009  
PV is happening! For those of you who have tried to register for one of our PV workshops, you've probably noticed that they are filling up extremely quickly. If you want to get a job in the PV industry we strongly recommend that you follow up the basic PV workshop with an Advanced PV workshop. For those of you who have not been able to attend a workshop, keep checking our website as we have more PV workshops slated for the fall. And don't forget, there are many other great renewable energy technologies out there -- check out our wind, micro-hydro and sustainable building workshops! And due to the huge growth in the PV industry we are hiring a PV team leader - check out the job description below.
SEI Alum and Associate Blake Jones Introduces Obama
President Obama showed his confidence in solar energy and the jobs that the renewable enegy sector can create by visiting the solar installation at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science last month before signing the stimulus bill into law. SEI alum Blake Jones was there to greet him, give him a tour of the PV system, and introduce him at the stimulus signing.

Blake is one of the co-founders of Namasté Solar Electric, an employee-owned Colorado-based PV installation company. Over half of the 55 employees at Namasté are SEI trained.

Of his day in the sun with the President, Blake says, "It was an unparalleled honor for me and my company, Namasté Solar, to participate in the stimulus bill signing ceremony on February 17 at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  When I met President Obama and Vice President Biden, they both put me immediately at ease when they shook my hand and looked me in the eye.  I was struck by how personable, friendly, and genuinely interested they were in ensuring that the United States takes a leadership role in creating a green energy economy."

For more information on Obama's visit with Blake see the FAQ page on Namasté's website, and view an interview on CBS Denver News with Blake Jones where he talks about where to get PV training.

New Wind Workshop
BWB eco-house
SEI is offering a new workshop this April on Wind Electric Maintenance and Repair. Wind-electric systems require the most maintenance and have the most problems of any renewable electricity system. This workshop will include a brief review of basic wind-electric system design principles and practice, and then focus on maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of these systems. This is followed by our always popular Home-Built Wind Generators, which will guide students through the process of building a small wind turbine from scratch. Both of these workshops take place on beautiful Guemes Island in the Pacific Northwest.

Other upcoming workshops include:

Iraq Looks to Solar Energy To Help Rebuild its Economy
Grand Canyon
photo courtesy SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images
Off-grid solar panels could soon be installed in Iraq in a push to supply electricity to people across the country, many of whom have no access to the national grid.

Six thousand solar-powered street lamps already light up the streets of Baghdad, where electricity from conventional sources is available on average for only two hours a day as the country struggles to recover from years of war. Thousands more solar street lamps have been ordered this year from the German off-grid specialist company Phaesun by the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity.

Matthias Kaiser of Phaesun, a company based in Memmingen that supplies components and technical know-how for off-grid photovoltaic systems, said that the Iraqi government is increasingly exploring the role solar power could play in supplying the population's future energy needs, especially in rural areas.

Read the entire story on
What does the Stimulus Package mean for Solar?
Jasmine Brown
Wondering how the economic stimulus will affect the solar industry? The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains 19 provisions that directly benefit the solar industry. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has provided an executive summary which lists the benefits including:
  • The creation of a Department of Treasury Grant Program
  • Improvement to the investment tax credit by eliminating ITC penalties for subsidized energy financing
  • A new DOE Loan Guarantee Program
  • Create tax incentives for manufacturing by offering accelerated depreciation and a 30 percent refundable tax credit for the purchase of manufacturing equipment used to produce solar material and components for all solar technologies.
Click here to download the entire executive summary.
Denver's First Annual Green Festival
SEI workshop
Denver, Colorado will be hosting their first Green Festival May 2 - 3. The Green Festival, a joint project between Global Exchange and Green America, celebrates what’s working in our communities—for people, business and the environment. At the festival individuals along with business and community leaders come together to discuss critical issues that impact us at home and abroad. Organizations and businesses showcase programs and products that restore the planet and all that inhabit it. The festival includes more than 125 renowned authors, leaders and educators; great how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; delicious vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music. World renowned speakers include SEI instructor and workshop Coordinator Matthew Harris who will discuss the fundamental principles behind choosing a renewable energy system for your home.

Other Green Festivals include:
  • Seattle - March
  • Chicago - May
  • Washington, DC - October
  • San Francisco - November
Job Opening - Photovoltaic (PV) Team Leader/Operations Manager
SEI workshop
Solar Energy International, a 501 (C)3 and a leader in renewable energy education is seeking a full time, year round PV Team Leader/Operations Manager to join our growing team of renewable energy education experts in Paonia, CO. The PV Team Leader’s responsibilities include managing PV staff, instructors, and contractors, orchestration of in-person and online educational programs, ongoing development and management of the PV program budget and strategic plan. The candidate will possess 3+ years of business administration, strategic planning, and personnel management, PV industry experience preferred but not required and a sense of humor is helpful.

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to by March 23, 2009. No phone calls please.
Your Generosity Ensures our Success!
SEI workshop
SEI would like to welcome 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!
Help create a sustainable future. Please forward this newsletter to your friends.

PO Box 715 Carbondale, CO 81623
39845 Mathews Lane Paonia, CO 81428
970-963-8855 • fax: 970-963-8866 •
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