what you will learn
By working in small groups, students will put what they’ve learned in PV101 to the test. They get their hands dirty by fully installing and commissioning a wide variety of system types before testing the system, then de-commissioning and breaking down. SEI is not affiliated with any equipment manufacturers, so students get unbiased opinions and are able to work on all of the equipment being used in the field today.
Students rotate between a commercial ballasted roof, two steep roofs, a ground-mount, and a pole-mount system that contain a variety of inverters, racking hardware and mounting methods. Students will learn fall protection best practices and different harness set-ups. They will learn lockout/tagout procedures to create a safe working environment and use an assortment of meters to test systems. This class is a good complement to PV301L, the Solar Electric Lab Week (Battery-based).
‘This has definitely laid the groundwork for my company’s success in the solar industry.’
— T.T. Miller, PV Lab Week participant, 2006
Prerequisites: PV101 or PVOL101 (or students who have completed a SEI PV workshop prior to January 2010 and have not attended a workshop at the Paonia lab facility)
Solar Energy International’s industry-recognized Renewable Energy Lab Facility in Paonia, Colorado is located on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains along the North Fork of the Gunnison River and at the base of the 11,395 foot tall Mt. Lamborn. Our educational center offers students an unparalleled opportunity to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom in a beautiful location.
Staff consider our location a little piece of heaven, and the best kept secret in solar.
- 5 days
- 40 hours/week
course materialssee full material list >
Please bring your Solar Electric Handbook from your PV101 or PVOL101 course.
Gary has a BSEE and MBA, is a registered Professional Electrical Engineer licensed in the state of NV and HI, Emeritus NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional, SEI Alumni, HERS I and II Certified Rater, BPI Building Analyst and IREC Master Trainer Emeritus.
He provides consulting services for energy efficiency and alternative energy systems through his company, Solar Independence, located in Carson City, NV. Services include whole house energy audits, PV site analysis, design and preparation of submittal plans, design reviews, project management, site commissioning and training. He has more than 30 years experience with solar thermal systems and occasionally gets involved with wind and micro-hydro applications, but the majority of his time is spent focusing on both off grid and grid-tied solar PV systems in Nevada, the surrounding states and the South Pacific.
Gary also teaches renewable energy at Western Nevada College and Truckee Meadows Community College and has been instructing for SEI since 2009.
Karo Fernández is a Mechanical Engineer from Universidad de Costa Rica, and has been working in the PV industry since 2009, starting as a PV project manager for Costa Rica´s Utility. Since then she has worked in regional PV market and industry development for Latin America, development of functioning business models for RE in developing countries, energy efficiency projects, PV project design, inspection and commissioning at residential and industrial levels. She currently also consults as a technical trainer for SEI, as well as in curriculum development and translations for the SEI´s Spanish Program. Karo is based out of Madrid, Spain, and consults for companies in Central and North America.
Ken Gardner is a licensed Professional Civil Engineer, Professional Land Surveyor, Licensed Electrician, Licensed Solar Contractor, ISPQ Certified Instructor, and NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer. His company, Gardner Engineering Alternative Energy Services, based in Utah, designs and installs solar electric, hydroelectric and wind electric systems.
Orion has been involved in the solar energy industry for over ten years, both as an industry professional and as an advocate through education and community outreach. In 2006 Orion earned an A.A.S. degree in Photovoltaic Installation and Design from San Juan College. In 2008 he became certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) as a Solar PV Installation Professional. He is currently on the board of directors for the Montana Renewable Energy Association (MREA), playing an active role in the organizations goal of promoting renewable energy awareness throughout the state.
As a partner/owner of Onsite Energy Inc., Orion focuses on commercial solar project development, but wears many hats within the company, including sales, design, installation, and operations and maintenance procedures.
Orion is a Montana native who grew up off-the grid and currently resides in net-zero energy home, powered by solar electricity, solar hot water, and wood heat. Dedicated to a lifetime of teaching, living, and working with renewable energy technologies, he is hopeful for our clean energy future.
Outside of work he tries to spend as much time as possible within the many Montana wilderness areas…backcountry snowboarding, backpacking, boating, and enjoying the open spaces.
Workshop and Training Program Policies (CLICK HERE for Complete School Catalog)
Solar Energy International (SEI) is approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private Occupational Schools.*
Enrollment: Prospective students may enroll anytime. Late enrollments will be accepted only one week into the course for online courses, and the first day of class for in-person and hands-on labs courses. Enrollment is on a first-come basis and class sizes are limited. To reserve a space you can register online or call in to register at 970-527-7657 option 1 and make payment in full. If you are sending a check, call first to check on availability and to let us know that you are sending payment.
Lodging & Logistics: SEI’s main campus and Lab Facility is in Paonia, Colorado. For detailed info about Paonia click here. Many of our workshops are held in other parts of the country and the world. Local logistics and lodging for each workshop venue are usually available on the location page for each workshop. More information will be sent upon confirmation of registration.
Waiting List: If a workshop is full we will place you on the waiting list. There is no charge to be on the waiting list. If space becomes available, we contact the first person on the list. You then have 24 hours to register before we move on to the next person.
Transfers: If you choose to transfer your space to someone in your company or family, a $100 administration fee is charged.
Cancellation & Refund Policies: Students not accepted to the school are entitled to all moneys paid. Students who cancel this contract by notifying the school within three (3) business days are entitled to a full refund of all tuition and fees paid. Students, who withdraw after three (3) business days, but before commencement of classes, are entitled to a full refund of all tuition and fees paid except the maximum cancellation charge of $150.00 or 25% of the contract price, whichever is less. In the case of students withdrawing after commencement of classes, the school will retain a cancellation charge plus a percentage of tuition and fees, which is based on the percentage of contact hours attended (if training is offered as distance education: “based on the percentage of no. of lessons completed”)*. The refund is based on the official date of termination or formal documented withdrawal. Please click here for full cancellation information and refund table. If you are unable to complete your course due to illness or natural disaster, please contact the administration office.
If SEI Cancels a Workshop: Rarely, SEI must cancel a workshop due to low enrollment, instructor illness or other unforeseen circumstances. We will notify you if a workshop for which you have registered has been cancelled. You may then enroll in another workshop (based on availability) or receive a full refund of tuition. Notification of cancellation will normally occur one month prior to the beginning of the workshop; in rare cases, however, it may be less. SEI is not responsible for losses incurred on housing, travel or other arrangements.
Entrance Requirements: SEI is an open enrollment training organization. However, students still must meet the prerequisites for any course(s) for which they would like to register. Additionally, if a student wishes to be considered for admission into the SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program, a separate application for admission is required. This program is a selective admissions program where we ask students to complete an application that requires an essay where they can indicate their dedication to successful program completion and their relevant transferable skills that would make them a good candidate for this rigorous training program. Please see application for details, https://www.solarenergy.org/sei-solar-professionals-certificate-program/. The school does not discriminate based on race, sex, religion, ethnic origin, or disability. By completing the SEI enrollment form, all students agree to comply with the requirements and directions of the training and supply any information that is relevant to safety and medical issues. Additionally, students completing this enrollment form attest to the fact that he or she is physically capable of performing all requirements of the training and agree to comply with all safety regulations and directions given by instructional staff.
Previous Credits: Credits from another institution will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and SEI only allows the transfer of a PV101 equivalent course with the same amount of contact hours and learning objectives as SEI’s PV101 course. The student may be asked to provide a transcript, certificate of completion, course catalog, link to the course description from the transferring school’s website showing equivalent course, or may be required to take a PV101 opt-out quiz to prove proficiency of course material. SEI does not guarantee transferability of our credits to another institution unless there is an articulated agreement with another institution.
Attendance / Online Course Progress Requirements: Students are expected to arrive on time for class with proper materials. Instructors may request your withdrawal from a course or program if absences or tardiness exceed 50%. In the SEI Online Campus, course participation and acceptable progress is determined by attempting ALL graded activities with a passing grade of 70% or higher averaged across all graded activities. Students who are unable to continue classes for medical reasons or severe personal problems will be required to take a leave of absence until they are able to return to class. Proper documentation will be required and a formal request for withdrawal will be required to substantiate a student’s withdrawal request.
Progress Policy: Students must maintain an 70% grade point average to complete the SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program. Those who do not, will be given an opportunity to retake courses, for a retake fee of ½ the original tuition price of each course. The retake option is available anytime within one year of original course start date. The student may be dropped from the program if acceptable progress is not satisfactory after multiple attempts to pass a course. Dropping of a student from the SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program shall be at the school Director’s discretion. The Executive Director has final authority and shall notify the student of the final decision.
Financial Assistance: SEI has a limited number of partial tuition scholarships available for international and low-income participants. We also offer a work/trade program for people taking 8 weeks or more of workshops. Click here for additional info.
Placement Assistance: Solar Energy International (SEI) offers employment assistance to graduates, consisting of job lead referrals and job skills development. While providing resources to help you in your job search, we make no guarantee, expressed or implied, of future employment. Current law prohibits any school from guaranteeing job placement as an inducement to enroll students.
Conduct Policy: All students are expected to act maturely and are required to respect other students and faculty members. Possession of weapons, illegal drugs, and alcohol of any kind are not allowed at any time on school property. Any violation of school policies may result in permanent dismissal from school.
Dismissal: Any student may be dismissed for violations of rules and regulations of the school, as set forth in school publications. A student also may be withdrawn from classes if he or she does not prepare sufficiently, neglects assignments, or makes unsatisfactory progress. The Executive Director, after consultation with all parties involved, makes the final decision. The Executive Director may temporarily suspend students whose conduct is disruptive or unacceptable to the academic setting. After appropriate counseling, students who demonstrate a genuine desire to learn and conform to school standards of conduct, may be allowed to resume attendance. The Executive Director will review each case and decide upon re-admittance.
Student Grievance Procedure: If a student has a grievance regarding any SEI policy or staff member they should contact, via email, SEI’s Executive Director, Kathy Swartz at [email protected] Students should first discuss any instructional grievances directly with their instructor. If unable to come to a mutually acceptable conclusion, students should contact, via email, SEI’s Executive Director, Kathy Swartz at [email protected] for in-person and hands-on lab courses. For SEI Online Campus courses contact via email, SEI’s Director of Online Learning, Chris Turek at [email protected]. Final decisions may be appealed to SEI’s Executive Director, Kathy Swartz at [email protected]. Once a grievance is submitted via email to the Executive Director, within one week, she will investigate the grievance and arrange an appointment if necessary with the student for discussion. Every effort will be made to resolve any grievance in a timely manner.
Student Complaints: Attempting to resolve any issue with the School first is strongly encouraged. Student Complaints may be brought to the attention of the Division of Private Occupational Schools online at http://highered.colorado.gov/dpos ,303 862-3001. There is a two-year statute of limitations for the Division to take action on a student complaint (from student’s last day of attendance).
Membership: SEI is a membership based training organization that offers training to it’s members. Your registration for a tuition based course includes a one year Basic Membership in SEI’s Friends and Alumni Association. As part of your membership, SEI’s monthly e-newsletter will be emailed to you if you have not already subscribed. You can also use the SEI Alumni and Friends Association Logo on your personal website, blog, social media, or your business marketing materials. Please remember to link back to SEI with http://www.solarenergy.org when possible. For information on other membership levels please visit https://www.solarenergy.org/become-a-member/
*SEI is not regulated in Texas under Chapter 132 of the Texas Education Code.