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Your Generosity
Ensures our Success!

SEI depends on our donors to continue our educational programs.

Please join us! In 2016, we have ambitious and exciting plans to expand our Outreach Programs and reach more people than ever before. As always, we need your help to make this happen. 

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Dear SEI Alumni and Friends,  Happy #GivingTuesday!

25th Anniversary!YOU are the reason that SEI is celebrating our 25th year of training and education. We would not be where we are today without you, our 50,000 alumni and many friends. Each one of you has a story to tell about the impact that SEI and renewable energy has had on your life. You are the inspiration behind our mission and the work that we do.

In 1991 SEI was founded by Johnny Weiss and Ken Olson. They had the vision and the audacity to believe that renewable energy could change the world. Though a lot has changed in the industry and at SEI, what hasn’t changed is our commitment to empowering people through high quality, practical renewable energy training. As we look to our next 25 years of service, we have even bigger plans for the future. We are expanding internationally as well as at our Paonia, Colorado hands-on training campus. We are developing more training and tools for you to stay ahead in this rapidly evolving industry.

Through our very active scholarship program, we are striving to provide training to anyone on the planet who dreams of powering their own home or village, whether it’s through a single light bulb or a complex microgrid. You’ve seen what SEI can accomplish in their first 25 years. With your tax deductible gift and support, there’s so much more for us to accomplish in the next 25 years. Your Support Creates Scholarships and Strengthens Our Non-Profit Mission!


Kathy Swartz
SEI Executive Director

Make an Online Donation at: www.solarenergy.org/donate


SEI Receives a Generous Donation of a Truck for Our Paonia, Colorado Lab Facility!

Our Alumni are so AWESOME. Randomly, we received a call from Tina Ratterman & Oumar Willane, both alumni of SEI, to see if we needed a diesel truck that was in great condition. "When Oumar suggested we donate the truck, SEI immediately came to mind as an organization deserving and who would appreciate the GreaseCar addition. We hope the truck brings many years of heavy lifting and support to SEI."

We are THRILLED because we have been needing a truck for work around the campus.

Tina is the cousin of Walt Ratterman, a SEI instructor and mentor. He installed PV and trained people in some of the most war-torn places in the world. We set up a scholarship in his name after he died in the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.


"Walt shared his passion with us. Oumar attended SEI's Wind Power class and I attended the Women and PV class in Paonia taught by Rebekah Hren. Oumar continued his education in (solar, bio-diesel, etc) and added solar and battery back-up solutions to properties in Dakar, Senegal.

Oumar is a lot like Walt with engineering and tech skills, intelligence, hard-work and passion for helping others. Walt, and his wife Jeanne, visited our home and Walt gave a workshop in 2009 at no cost for a local group volunteering in Sudan."

Thank you Tina and Oumar for your incredible generosity!

Make a Donation Today >>

SEI's Online Campus Upcoming Sessions



Online Sessions Starting January 9th!

SEI Supports Women in Solar!
Join Us Today!

SEI Women's Program

Since 1991, our non-profit educational organization has focused on promoting a diverse clean energy workforce. We believe this makes our industry stronger and our efforts promote a global community of people who share the vision of a world powered by renewable energy!

Make a Donation to our
Women's Program >>


SEI Offers Training in West Virginia
The Coal to Solar Transition
Solar Energy International (SEI) is proud to work with Solar Holler and Coalfields Development! In partnership with these organizations, SEI will be returning to West Virginia in December to provide technical training in renewable energy to a new group of young men and women!

SEI's Executive Director, Kathryn Swartz, says of the collaboration "West Virginia has the potential to be a model for the country of how to successfully transition from fossil fuels extraction to renewable energy production. There are so many communities that are experiencing the decline of coal mining jobs due to the glut of natural gas production and climate change.

By combining each community’s greatest resource — it’s PEOPLE — with the entrepreneurial spirit of companies like Solar Holler, we have the ability to create real change and good paying jobs (though not as high as coal mining jobs). Solar Holler and Coalfields Development are creating a solar market, and thus jobs. I’m proud to be part of Solar Energy International’s efforts to train their workforce."


SEI Welcomes Solar Ready Colorado Student Recruiter – Josie Strutz

JosieSEI welcomes Josie Strutz to the Solar Ready Colorado team! Josie is ecstatic to serve as SEI’s Solar Ready Colorado Training Recruiter, a position that allows her to combine her devotion to renewable energy with her commitment to helping improve peoples' lives!

Josie has always been passionate about preserving and protecting the environment and fell in love the idea of a career in solar energy after participating at a volunteer residential installation in Colorado. She believes whole-heartedly in the future of solar and is excited to be a part of the SEI team that is helping grow the industry with an educated, diverse and sustainable workforce. Outside of work you can find Josie supporting local art at a concert or gallery, hiking to beautiful vistas, and tasting the local beer in Colorado.

Read More About Solar Ready Colorado…

SEI Welcomes Solar Ready Colorado Veterans Recruiter – Kevin Sova
Kevin Sova
Kevin joins SEI's Solar Ready Colorado Team as the Veterans Recruiter. Kevin is an Air Force Veteran with a background in engineering who currently lives in Colorado Springs with his family. This summer, Kevin spent seven weeks at SEI's training facility with his nephew, Kyle. where he completed SEI's Residential and Commercial Photovoltaic Systems Certificate Program. After his time at SEI, he became passionate about training veterans to work in the solar industry and is now working with servicemen and women throughout Colorado.

Read More About Solar Ready Colorado…

SEI and Quick Mount PV Team Up to Offer PV101 Training in Walnut Creek, California – Feb. 27th!

Johan"In 2006 Quick Mount PV launched to take on the challenge of connecting the solar industry to roofing best practices by manufacturing high quality, solar installer-friendly mounting and flashing systems. It was through education and training that Quick Mount PV reached installers hungry for better solutions. Ten years later the company continues to innovate, grow, and still maintains the Respect the Roof mentality with the best training and products in the industry. Quick Mount PV is happy to host SEI's training program that fits right in line with the quality training that is needed in the growing solar industry."

– Johan Alfsen – Director of Training & Technical Services

PV101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct)
PV101 is your gateway to a career in the solar industry.  It all starts with the fundamentals, and a solid understanding of various components, system architectures, and applications for PV systems.  Other topics include site analysis, system sizing, array configuration, and performance estimation; electrical design characteristics such as wiring, overcurrent protection, and grounding; a detailed look at module and inverter specifications and characteristics; mounting methods for various roof structures and ground­mounts; and an introduction to safely and effectively commissioning grid­-direct PV systems.  This course focuses on grid-­direct PV systems, the largest and fastest growing segment of the PV industry, but covers material critical to understanding all types of PV systems.  These core concepts are expanded on in SEI’s upper ­level PV courses, which focus more specifically on particular system types, applications and design methodologies.

More info…

SEI's Solar Ready Colorado Welcomes Our Newest Employer Partners!

Solar Ready Colorado LogoThrough Solar Ready Colorado, SEI is recruiting Colorado-based students from many employment sectors including coal mining and oil and gas development, electricians and construction trades, military veterans and other professionals.

This past month we added more supporting employers! 

  • ECOMARK Solar
  • Clean Energy Collective
  • Namaste Solar
  • Sunsense Solar

We have also reached a milestone with over 100 Coloradans enrolled in SEI courses since we launched this program a few months ago. Our goal is to train over 350 people by the end of June, 2017!

Solar Ready Colorado

Solar Ready Colorado is a statewide effort through Solar Energy International (SEI) and industry partners to expand the activities of outreach, recruiting, and training to the rapidly growing Colorado solar industry and jobs market. Through industry partnerships and support from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the program provides a dedicated outreach and recruitment effort as well as technical training through Solar Energy International’s (SEI) long running, non-profit 501(c)(3) technical training program to those interested in entering the Colorado solar industry.

More information…


SEI Launches Newest Version of PVOL206: Solar Business and Technical Sales Online Course

SEI is proud to announce a totally new version of our online business course!  Starting April 10th, 2017 we will be ofering this online course that focuses on business principles, financial analysis, and system financing. This course is geared toward students who are interested in, or who already are working in, the business or sales side of the PV industry and are looking to improve their sales techniques or are working towards the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Certification.

What you will learn

Through insightful presentations and instruction from working experts in the field, SEI’s PVOL206 Solar Business and Technical Sales covers marketing and sales techniques you will need to be successful. Concepts discussed in detail include: customer qualification, solar site analysis, creating conceptual design proposals, system costing, incentives and rebates, cost-benefit analyses, financing options, and the non-financial benefits of photovoltaic systems.

More information…

SEI Solar Training Classes
and Labs for Spring 2017 – Enroll Now!SEI Training Overview Video

Watch SEI Training Overview Video >>

What a great year it has been! If you plan on attending any of SEI's solar training events this Spring or early Summer 2017 – YOU SHOULD ENROLL NOW! 

Most of our in-person courses were 100% full this year!  Class seats go fast for our highly attended hands-on labs, classroom courses, and online courses.

View the 2017 Training Schedule >>
or call SEI Student Services at 970-527-7657 x1


Attention Veterans!  Use your VA Education Benefits with Solar Energy International (SEI)

SEI Solar Vets
Solar Energy International (SEI) is pleased to offer comprehensive Veterans Educational Funding and outreach programs for veterans and active duty military personnel. We proudly offer educational opportunities and benefits to military members, their families, and veterans who have honorably served.

970-527-7657 x108
or email: [email protected]

SEI is now authorized to offer eligible veterans the ability to use their education benefits towards our in-person classroom and hands-on lab training through SEI’s Solar Professionals Certificate Program (SPCP).

This education funding approval is part of SEI’s broader expansion of their Active Duty Military and Veterans Outreach Program.  As an organization, SEI believes in the opportunities that renewable energy can offer our country, such as energy independence and sustainable use of our country’s natural resources.  With that in mind, we also honor those who have served our country and who are choosing to follow up their military service with a new kind of service;  service in the renewable energy sector.

Read more…


SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program (SPCP) Graduates Fall / Winter 2016

SPCP_logoSEI is proud to announce our most recent graduating class!  The SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program (SPCP) is a selective admissions program to help ensure the success of our students and provide a quality workforce for the solar industry.  This is SEI's most rigorous training program and requires at least 200 contact hours for completion. 

Congratulations to the following students:

  • Sergio Pablo Cartagena
  • Tanner Cobb
  • Justin Dye
  • Gary Gage
  • Celeste Jules
  • Robert Merrill
  • John Mumford
  • James Seevers
  • Andrew Sprauer
  • Anthony Tomlin 
  • Fredy Cañizares Niño
  • Michael Fletcher
  • Adel Gougam
  • Lesley Hale
  • Daniel Hall
  • Richard Hoon
  • Scott Martin
  • Richard Shetsky
  • Christopher Smith
  • Eddie Steward
  • Noel Wichmann


SEI Offers Training at Solar – TEC in Egypt
December 4th – 6th, 2016 – Cairo International Convention Centre, Egypt –  Stand #4.D65

Thank you for supporting Solar Energy International

To all Solar Energy International supporters, SEI sends thanks!

Help create a sustainable future. Please forward this e-newsletter to your friends and colleagues.

Solar Energy International – 39845 Mathews Lane • Paonia, CO 81428

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