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Paonia, CO

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39845 Mathews Lane, Paonia, CO 81428 United States

Lab Facility and Campus Location:
Solar Energy International Campus
39845 Mathews Lane
Paonia, CO 81428
Phone: 970-527-7657

We use two different locations during the week—the Classroom and the SEI Campus.

The address for the SEI Campus is:
39845 Mathews Lane
Paonia, CO 81428

The address for the Classroom is:
138 Grand Ave
Paonia, CO 81428

  • The classroom entrance is between Ollie’s Ice Cream (on the corner of grand and 2nd) and the Glennie Coombie Gallery. You will see the SEI sandwich board sign on the sidewalk. The front door (which has Glennie Coombie Gallery listed above the door) opens to a long hall. The classroom is at the end of the hall on the right.




Short description


Please bring the following to your workshop:

  • Pen and pencil
  • Paper for note taking
  • A calculator (with trig functions for Advanced)
  • Black, red and green colored pencils for schematics

SEI will provide hard hats and safety glasses for the lab classes, however students are welcome to bring their own to ensure comfort and proper fit.  Please carefully read your detailed email confirmation that you receive upon registration for more information.

Travel information

Closest Airports:

Denver International Airport is 5 hours from Paonia by car. Salt Lake City Airport is approx. 6 hours from Paonia by car. You can take a smaller plane to either Grand Junction or Montrose airports, which bring you closer to Paonia, but you are still 1-1.5 hours away. You need to arrange transportation BEFORE you arrive at an airport. Here are your choices:

  1. Rent a car. Make sure the car rental will be available if your plane arrives later in the evening. Also, you need a credit card for car rental, a debit card can be used but is problematic. Advantages of renting a car: you have transportation all week while in Paonia. International students can rent cars–they have to present their driver’s license from their home. A passport will not work, it must be a driver’s license.  SEI Discounts on Rental cars:
    • AVIS/BUDGET: Receive between 5% and up to 25% off all rental cars. Use the code: Y378524 when booking to save.
    • ENTERPRISE:  Receive 5% off all rentals outside Colorado and special prices within Colorado. Use the account code: L12A513 in the box “Optional: Coupon, Customer, or Corporate number”. Password is SOL
  1. USE the SEI Ride Board to connect with other students who may be coming in to the airport around the same time and share an airport shuttle or a taxi. Upon registration, you will receive information on how to log in to SEI’s Online Alumni and Career Center, where you will be able to access the SEI Ride Share Board.
  • Call one of the following people to pick you up and take you back to Paonia. These local drivers generally charge $100 to pick you up and bring you to Paonia.
    • Sara Stevens, 970-527-4346 or 970-201-5238
    • Lynn Huey, 970-527-3773
    • Loretta Small, 970-527-6528 or 729-680-3736
    • Sylvia Hauptman, 970-527-4055 or 303-882-2545
  1. Airport shuttles: Airport shuttles are expensive!



Paonia is 1.5 hours from Grand Junction taking Hwy. 50 (click here for directions) or 2 hours from Glenwood Springs (click here for directions).

Bus Stations:

There is a Greyhound Station at 230 S. 5th St. in Grand Junction, CO, which is approximately 70 miles from the classroom. You can take the bus to the City of Delta, approx. 40 minutes from Paonia, but you will need to arrange transportation from there to Paonia.

Train Stations:

There is also an Amtrak Station at 413 7th St, Glenwood Springs, CO, which is approximately 70 miles from the classroom, and a station at 339 South 1st Street in  Grand Junction, CO, which is approximately 70 miles from the classroom. You will need to arrange transportation from either of those locations to Paonia.

Bicycles: Once in Paonia, students can use bicycles available at SEI.

Lodging recommendations

There is no lodging or camping available on SEI’s campus. The Paonia local lodging list is included as an attachment on your workshop confirmation email upon registration. This list contains commercial establishments plus rooms in local homes available for rent and camping options.  You can also visit this website:  www.deltacountycolorado.com/


Paonia is located on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains, at 5,645 ft. in elevation. Along with Hotchkiss and Crawford, Paonia is one of the small towns that make up the North Fork Valley. The North Fork of the Gunnison River flows through Paonia and the valley. On both sides of the valley are higher mesas where many valley residents live.

Paonia is at the foot of 11,400 ft. Mt. Lamborn and is the gateway to the West Elk Wilderness (east). To the northeast is the Grand Mesa, the highest plateau in the world, with over 3,000 lakes. To the south are the deep canyons cut by the rivers coming out of the Rockies, including the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  All of this means the opportunity for recreation:  hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, and jeeping.

The North Fork Valley is well-known for its fruit (pears, apricots, cherries, peaches, apples), grass-fed beef, vineyards and wineries, goats and goat cheese, and organic vegetables. Visit Black Bridge Winery and Delicious Orchards to pick your own produce and sample some great wine.

Food: There are many wonderful restaurants in Paonia. For a listing of restaurants in Paonia and the surrounding area click here.

Weather: The weather in Paonia in the summer should be in the 80s or 90s during the day and then drop into the 50s or 60s at night. Though Paonia is semi-arid, there’s always the possibility of rain, especially in early July and September. For a more detailed look at the weather, click here.

Upcoming Events

April 2015
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