This past year, SEI had the honor of serving students who traveled from 6 CONTINENTS and 30 COUNTRIES to our solar PV training facility in Paonia, CO. They come seeking knowledge and skills to create economic, social, and climate resilient opportunities where they live, work, and play. Do you believe in #SolarEnergy4All? Help us raise $25,000 by December 31st to make SEI training more accessible!
As we enter into the new year, SEI is happy to announce that we have reached a new milestone in our non-profit mission of offering educational services to the world. As of December 2017, we have surpassed 60,000 students and alumni worldwide who are currently enrolled or have received training from SEI through our SEI Online Campus, hands-on labs at our Paonia, Colorado training facility, through educational sessions at conferences, or the many satellite workshops we have offered all over the world.
We invite you to share this email with friends, family, and co-workers who would like to join our movement and who share our vision of a world powered by renewable energy. There are many ways people can support us and join this family of 60,000+. As a non-profit organization your financial support will help us maximize our efforts and you can make a donation at anytime. Another way to easily get involved is to enroll in our FREE SEI Online Campus course – RE100: Introduction to Renewable Energy and learn about all the leading technologies available today to help the world realize a clean energy future.
Alumni Highlight: SEI provides experience to take your career to the next level
Have you thought about your New Year’s resolution yet? 2018 is the perfect time to grow your solar career. Solar Energy International (SEI)’s Solar Professionals Certificate Program (SPCP) is the industry’s most rigorous training program to prepare professionals for the highly technical clean energy workforce.
SEI offers six different SPCP tracks for students to pursue certifications in technical areas such as Residential and Commercial Photovoltaic Systems, Battery-Based Photovoltaic Systems, Solar Business and Technical Sales, International and Developing World Applications, Renewable Energy Applications, and the Solar Professionals Trainer Certificate.
SEI Alumni Joan Schmith completed the Business and Technical Sales SPCP track in 2017, and found that the experience was just what she needed to secure her current role as Branch Operations Coordinator for SunRun in Massachusetts.
“Turning sunshine into power is not just beautiful and quiet, but environmentally the way of the future. I wanted to contribute to the growth of the industry,” Joan explained.
Her journey started as many do, with the search for trainings in solar that would fit with her already busy lifestyle. “I searched online for education in solar energy, found SEI and took the introductory course,” Joan explained. “The course was very informative, easy to use and confirmed for me that I wanted a career in solar energy.”
SEI’s PV101 and PV203 courses in perfect alignment with NABCEP’s updated 2018 PV Associate Program
With a new session of solar training classes about to start online on January 8, it’s the perfect time to keep everyone up-to-date on the work being done by the Solar Energy International (SEI) Curriculum Team to ensure students are constantly getting industry-leading solar training.
In October 2017, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) announced that for the first time, the Photovoltaic (PV) Associate Exam would be administered outside of North America. Previously only available in the United States and Canada, the test would now be available at 370 test sites in 97 countries across the world.
“SEI recognizes and greatly respects the work that NABCEP does in ensuring quality credentialing and certification programs for solar professionals. SEI has students from all over the world, so we are especially excited that the PV Associate Program is now available internationally,” Director of Curriculum & Instruction Sarah Wilder said.
SEI’s Solar in Schools grows with the help of Jared Polis Foundation Grant
As cities across the country pledge their commitment to go 100% renewable, a challenge is presented to rural communities, like Delta County, who have been historically coal-producing, to transition into adopting energy practices of the future with limited resources compared to bigger cities. Since 2015, Solar Energy International (SEI) has recognized this struggle, and as a result sought out a means of economic development for its surrounding community involving a rapidly-evolving industry that happens to be our expertise: solar.
This is how the SEI high school (Solar for Schools High School Solar Career and Technical Pathway) program was born. SEI AmeriCorps VISTAs took our industry-leading solar energy training curriculum, PV101-Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct), and adapted it to create a trade training program for local high school students in Delta County.
SEI Paonia, Colorado training facility gets new sign
SEI recently installed a new entry sign to it’s 10 acre property! The sign is just one of a flurry of facility improvements over the past year and distinctly marks the main entry from Mathew’s Lane for students traveling for classes. A near-future upgrade to the sign will harness the power of the sun, store it and release it when dark. That’s right! It will be a small battery-based lighting system illuminating the logo in the evening. The sign was made possible in-part by a generous gift from board member and instructor Ken Gardner of Gardner Engineering (fill in city), Utah. The elegant timber frame structure was built by Finnigan Carpentry based in nearby Hotchkiss, Colorado. SEI hopes the sign will increase visibility of our lab yard and remind people of the importance of a renewable future. And don’t worry if you loved the old rusted metal sign, it’s a classic and will be integrated on campus.
SEI Active Duty and Veterans Military Career Transition Program
VIDEO Highlight: SEI Active Duty and Veterans Outreach
SEI launches the Solar Exercise Initiative (SEI)
At SEI we believe in a world powered by renewable energy, but we can only achieve this goal by first taking care of ourselves. This is why we encourage a happy and healthy lifestyle for all of our employees. This Fall we decided to put that belief to the test by challenging our staff to compete in the Solar Exercise Initiative (S.E.I).
Staff members were awarded points for exercising during, or outside of the workday in addition to staying hydrated and getting a good night’s sleep. Competition was intense, especially between PV Lab Manager Danny Bailey and Marketing and Communications Manager Mary Marshall, who would openly talk smack at staff events and in the office.
Employees shared their progress by taking selfies throughout the program. The S.E.I winners were announced this month, and it looks like all the smack talking paid off! Pictured below are the S.E.I. winners, Danny took first and Mary came in second!
New job opportunities are opened for Solar Energy International (SEI) solar training program graduates
“Never stop fighting for your dreams, renewable energy is a great passion, and opportunities are given, there are companies that offer internships, you just have to go out there and look for them,” recommends with conviction Javier Pacheco, graduated from the SEI Solar Professional Certificate Program to all those who are embarking on a new solar career.
And Javier is speaking from experience. When he arrived at our PV Training Facility in Paonia, CO met our instructor Paul Ruiz, with whom he maintained contact after completing the program. Like all our instructors Paul works actively in the industry, and when the opportunity of a work internship was opened in the company for which he works, he called Javier, who accepted it gratefully.
Javier traveled three weeks to North Carolina where he installed 4 residential grid connected solar systems with Paul and his team.
Mark left his expiate job in Belgium and returned to the U.S. in pursuit of living his passion through a green job. From Belgium to Carbondale, Colorado in 2002 he studied solar PV, solar hot water, wind, and natural building at Solar Energy International (SEI).
Fast forward to today, Mark’s passion led him to an unsuspecting place: working for a pharmaceutical company. In his packaging role, Mark focuses on how to reduce packaging, utilize recycled materials, and eliminate waste from production to sale. For example, he introduced corn-based insulation to ship refrigerated products, replacing the Styrofoam that was previously used!
Since his time as an SEI student, Mark has felt connected to SEI and our mission (a world powered by renewable energy!). He has appreciated stock from his old job, and has thought about donating stock for a long time. He said, “You hear about it all the time. A friend explained how easy it was and that sparked my interest. It’s cost free without a processing fee.”
As Mark dug deeper, he learned that if he sold his stock conventionally he would have to pay Capital Gains tax. However, if he gave it away, he wouldn’t have to pay Capital Gains tax, and he would receive a deduction for the full amount of the gift. “It’s a tax friendly way to give more to nonprofits,” Mark shared.
SEI is a proud partner of Greentech Media Solar Summit Mexico. Join us with GTM February 13-14 in Mexico City, Mexico using our 🏷️ EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE SEI15 for 15% off your conference registration.
With Latin America’s emergence as the hottest region for solar development in recent years, Mexico has taken the lead with a dynamic energy transition that sets the stage for unprecedented solar growth. Solar Summit Mexico will leverage GTM Research’s expertise in Mexico to ensure your company is uniquely positioned to capture specific opportunities while appropriately managing regulatory, political, and market risks.
SEI textbook sales spike in December, find out why
Have you ever wondered what Solar Energy International (SEI) is up to when summer class sessions end for the winter? Besides our ongoing schedule of online solar energy training classes, you might be surprised to learn that December is the busiest time of year for textbook sales!
Developed and written by SEI, Solar Electric Handbook: Photovoltaic Fundamentals and Applications and Fotovoltaica: Manual de Diseño e Instalación, are used in SEI’s curriculum, and by training providers throughout the world.
According to SEI’s Student Services Team, which works tirelessly to register students for classes, 87 institutions use SEI’s training materials, primarily the Solar Electric Handbook, as a text in their training courses. More specifically, the textbook is used in 29 states across the U.S., two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and Guam), and three non-U.S. countries: Canada, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom.
Video highlight: snow clearing + drone = DRONE FAIL
A little snowy solar comedy for your viewing pleasure… SEI’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Chris Turek, used some of his holiday vacation to do a little R&D for future commercial drone services in the solar industry. Obviously more tweaking will need to be done for this idea to be ready for prime time.
A special congratulations goes out to the following students who have completed SEI’s most rigorous training program this month – SEI’s Solar Professionals Certification Program (SPCP)!
These students have completed more than 200 training hours covering residential and commercial solar PV applications, battery-based solar PV systems, the National Electrical Code (NEC), and much more! Congratulations goes to: