A message from Solar Energy International (SEI) Executive Director Kathryn Swartz:
Dear SEI Alumni,
This month SEI made history. We are truly living our mission of a world powered by renewable energy with the opening of our first international campus in Costa Rica.
On April 27 we began the week with three classes in three different countries and hundreds of students enrolled in classes online. Our PV101 in Oman had 30 students, along with 22 at our inaugural Costa Rica campus class. We love to share the exciting news of growing our outreach with all of you, and we’re looking forward to continued international growth.
Kathy Swartz, SEI Executive Director
SEI made history this month with its first class at the Costa Rica Campus
April 23 was a historic day for Solar Energy International (SEI). We inaugurated our first international Solar Training Center in Costa Rica. Since we started our Spanish Program in 2013, SEI has trained more than +9000 Spanish speakers. This new training center gives us the possibility to expand SEI’s world-class solar training to more Spanish-speaking professionals. SEI seeks to empower more people with solar education to improve the life quality of life in the communities in which they live, and to help them build a healthy solar industry in the region.
SEI Online Campus launches classes on May 21st!
SEI’s Online Campus is the best way to get started with your solar training or get the continuing education you need to stay on top of your solar game. We offer dozens of different session start dates and different classes all year long ranging from entry level to highly advanced solar technology topics. Starting May 21st we will be offering:
Pump – Pump – Pump it Up! (with Solar Energy)
Join us in Paonia, Colorado May 21st for PV110: SOLAR WATER PUMPING!
There is almost something magical about using energy from the sun to pump water – and often the sunnier it is the more water is needed! This three day course combines presentations with hands-on experience and tours of local, operating systems. There are many different types of pumps - some of which are more appropriate than others depending on the amount of water needed and the specifics of the site. Selecting the proper pump for the job, sizing the PV array, selecting equipment such as controllers and linear current boosters, and installation methods are all covered in detail in PV110
SEI Professional Services (SEIPS) now offers a solar PV design proposal request form
With over 60,000+ students and alumni worldwide, we get a lot of requests from our SEI alumni network to provide technical assistance on projects. This was one of the driving reasons why we established SEIPS and we are here to serve you!
SEIPS has created an intake form for you to tell us about your project so we can efficiently and accurately assess if we are a good fit to help with your project and to provide a proper quote for our services. If you have a project you are currently working on and would like technical assistance, please take a few minutes and tell us about your project by filling in as much information as you can. All information submitted through this form will remain secure and will not be shared with anyone. We take your privacy very seriously. All form submittals are processed only by our top management team.
You won’t want to miss this! What makes SEI’s campus in Paonia, Colorado so special? [VIDEO]
This video features highlights from our campus in Paonia, Colorado, and gives you a sense of the training experience you will get while attending our industry recognized solar training program. We hope to see you in a class soon!
The sky is speckled with stars as far as the eye can see as you sit around a roaring campfire, ukulele and laughter abound in the background as tent flaps ripple in the wind, the moon’s distorted reflection stares back at you from a solar panel–no, you are not at summer camp (although it feels like it), you are at Solar Energy International (SEI)’s campus in scenic Paonia, Colorado.
Hiking on a mountain trail system in town, road biking on expansive country roads rolling over mesas and across an uninterrupted landscape, enjoying wineries and craft beers, all in the shadow of the West Elk Mountain Range, these are just some of the gems that our campus in Western Colorado has to offer. Students at our campus learn from top-notch instructors with the help of industry-leading technology in our lab yard, while enjoying one of the most unique and precious landscapes in the Western United States. The holistic experience of Paonia is hard to capture in words, so we tried our best to show you what makes our campus so special in this video about our Western, CO headquarters.
Are you ready to embark on your solar training vacation? In the words of famed outdoorsmen John Muir, the mountains are calling… Check out our online class schedule for the full list of our in-person summer and fall class sessions.
Camping on campus now available for in-person training sessions
Are you traveling to our Paonia, Colorado campus for solar training from out of town and looking for cheap lodging options during your stay? We have good news! Solar Energy International (SEI) is now offering camping on our campus just steps away from our main office and PV lab yard.
On-site camping is being offered on a limited basis to students who want to camp on campus during their in-person solar energy training. There are two sites are available for tent camping and two sites available for vehicles (no RVs, only truck or van campers). This camping option is first come, first serve and includes access to our student lounge with microwave, fridge, potable water and Port-a-Potties.
Please contact our registration department for more information at 970-527-7657 option 1.
SEI’s Solar Sisters String Band at 2018 Solar Battle of the Bands!
Watch out Solar Battle of the Bands – SEI just might be able to take the title of BEST solar band in the near future! If you have taken SEI solar training classes before, you know we have the most inspirational – experienced – and knowledgeable instructors in the industry. But did you know we also have a very musically talented team as well? Check it out!
Breaking News: SEI’s Solar Sisters String Band selected to play at the 2018 Solar Battle of the Bands in San Francisco! In case you missed it- check out this video where they performed at the SEI Staff and Instructor Talent Show recently.
We will have 100 Solar Battle of the Band tickets to give out to students, alumni, and supporters. We will be allocating these tickets during the InterSolar Conference so you will need to swing by our booth to have your name entered for a chance to be awarded a ticket. See you there!
With SEI’s help, high school students in Delta County install solar photovoltaic systems on their schools
Nine Paonia High School students worked during their class period for a week alongside Empowered Energy Systems LLC, who donated their time to the project, to install a 10kW ground mount solar system. The students learned about every step of the installation process from excavation and pouring concrete to setting the railing and wiring the solar panels. They can leverage the skills gained from this experience to pursue a career, or continuing education, in the solar industry or other technical trades. The system will output approximately 16,000 kWh/year of solar electricity and save the school approximately $1,500/year.
At the same time, fourteen students at Delta High School worked with their science teacher Ben Graves to design and install a 5kW pole mount solar system as the first phase of construction in the DHS Solar Lab. This project was both designed and installed by students in Mr. Graves’ Solar Energy Training program, a class he designed through a partnership with SEI.
A message from SEI alum Bilal Ahmed: Would you walk a mile for water?
“Before going to school, her children would have to walk a mile each morning to fetch water for daily use. They would be late for school and were often punished for being tardy.”
Solar Energy International alum Bilal Ahmed believes that everyone deserves access to clean water. A trained physician, Bilal took SEI classes so he could use solar energy as a tool to provide access to clean water in rural Pakistan.
“Now they have access to water literally in their back yard. Their mother shared that her mind is now at ease because her children can get to school on time.”
Bilal’s company Stellargenesys works to provide access to water in rural Pakistan. Recently he came across a local community that had no access to a usable water source. The local well was abandoned and unusable because the water table was deep, and there was no electricity to help draw water.
The closest source of usable water was about a mile away from the community. Stellargenesys successfully installed a solar powered water pump to provide water access for the local community. “On our last check, a few weeks ago, the project was delivering the much-needed water to the community!” The solar water pump provides running water to approximately 50 households in the village near Karachi, Pakistan.