NABCEP Goes Global – SEI Alumni Now
Have New Credential Opportunities
NABCEP credentials and testing options on a global scale is a game changer for the solar industry!
SEI’s Kristopher Sutton, Director of Business Development – Middle East and Africa talks about the implications for the growing solar industry in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA).
“The ability to offer NABCEP’s PVA exam internationally is a huge development for SEI,” Kris said. “Our Middle East program is rapidly growing in tandem with the markets in the region. Utilities and governments in the MENA region are working to develop standards that ensure safe, quality PV installations and for many years our students have been hearing about NABCEP and asking about access to their exams. Now, by offering the exam internationally we have an option to better serve our students and support the development of strong solar market around the world.”
Alumni Highlight: Terry and Bill Jackson
Prepare for an Install in Sudan
Students gleefully huddled around the lab yard’s steep roof mounted solar system smiling for photos as the Solar Energy International (SEI) banner whipped in the wind in the background. Cameras flashed as photos abound and the soft crunch of wood chips enveloped the lab yard as the class scattered, certificates-in-hand, to say their final goodbyes: it’s graduation day at SEI’s campus in Paonia.
Terry Jackson, a graduate of SEI’s PV201L: Solar Electric Lab Week (Grid-Direct) stood beaming as she described her future plans to apply the knowledge she learned that week in class. “We’ve taken courses, we’ve studied, but it really, really makes a difference having hands-on solar experience before you go out and do a project like this,” she explained. The project she was referring to is a solar system slated to be installed on a school in Akot, Sudan, a project nearly 10 years in the making for Terry, which is planned for commission next year.
Classes are Filling Fast! Check Out the 2017 / 2018 Solar Training Schedule!
Winter is just around the corner here in the northern hemisphere and now is a good time to consider jumping into an online course to get on a path to SEI's Solar Professionals Certificate Program or even pre-register for in-person lab weeks next year as those sessions tend to fill up very quickly.
Take some time to look over our offerings for the coming year. Please feel free to reach out to our SEI Student Services team who can help you chart your course to meet your training and career goals.
SEI's Training Efforts in the Middle East are Making a Huge Impact
SEI's latest class in the Middle East is underway! Eighteen students are enrolled in SEI's PV101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) at the RAK Research and Innovation Center in the United Arab Emirates. Students are learning about the topics involved in designing utility-connected PV systems and getting hands-on experience with site assessment demonstrations and tours of on-site PV systems.
Invest in a Future Powered by Renewable Energy with the Clean Energy Credit Union
Have you ever wondered how you can support the clean energy movement? Clean Energy Credit Union presents a new, exciting opportunity to join the fight against climate change, protect the environment, and invest in sustainable practices.
Clean Energy Credit Union is a member-owned, member-governed financial institution with a unique twist: it is focused exclusively on loans that help people fund clean energy projects such as solar electric systems, electric vehicles, home energy efficiency retrofits, electric-assist bicycles, and more.
A group of clean energy enthusiasts came together to develop the Clean Energy Credit Union. According to Amanda Bybee, one of the primary organizers, the official process to form the lending institution started back in 2014.
“The motivation was to create a financing mechanism for homeowners that felt more transparent, that had competitive terms, and that would harness the power of the world at large to support clean energy in an innovative way,” Amanda explained.
Lessons learned at Solar Energy International (SEI) can be life-changing for students who take our solar energy training both online and in-person at our campus in Paonia, Colorado. In the case of SEI alum, Estevan Figueroa, the impact of SEI classes will spread across the world as he takes what he learned in PV301L: Solar Electric Lab Week (Battery-Based) to Uganda.
Estevan traveled to SEI’s campus in Paonia, Colorado in October for solar energy training in battery-based Photovoltaics (PV). Estevan works with a non-profit, Africa Development Promise, which, “moves women farmers from food for subsistence to food for business using the cooperative model of enterprise. To promote economic empowerment, [they] have adopted a multi-faceted approach to address the concerns of women farmers. Chief among them is access to sustainable and affordable water and electricity.”
SEI is Hiring! Join SEI as a
PV Team Curriculum Developer – Apply Today!
SEI’s mission is to provide industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy to empower people, communities, and businesses worldwide. Since 1991, SEI has provided training for all levels of professionals within the solar electric industry; whether a person is new to the industry or wants to expand their skills—from grid-tied to battery-based to O&M, from residential to utility-scale to microgrids. The Curriculum and Instruction Department is responsible for ensuring that our online, in-person, hands-on, and contract trainings are industry- leading and delivered to SEI’s standards in the appropriate language.
Job Description: Successful candidates for our PV Curriculum Developer position will: combine PV technical knowledge with the ability to effectively communicate these concepts to various audiences; enthusiastically participate and communicate in a team-environment while being self-directed; engage in evolving SEI’s educational models; meet deadlines; and continuously strive to meet SEI’s standard of quality and professionalism with our instruction.
GRID Alternatives Colorado and Solar Energy International Empower Women in Solar
Last month, GRID Alternatives Colorado (GRID) and Solar Energy International (SEI) joined together to engage more women in the solar industry. Both GRID and SEI recognize that women continue to be underrepresented in the solar workforce and are committed to developing and leading job training programs that provide women with pathways to access technical careers in the solar industry.
In August, SEI and GRID kicked off their partnership with GRID’s second annual We Build Retreat in Fort Collins, Colorado. The retreat brought together forty-five women from around the country to start construction on the 1.95 megawatt Coyote Ridge Community Solar Array – the largest built in GRID’s history – and to participate in service learning for those interested or working in solar-related careers. The event brought participants together to build with their hands, but also build a framework for women to thrive in the renewable energy industry.
The We Build Retreat is a signature event that expands on the existing efforts of both GRID Alternatives and SEI to support women in the solar industry. The solar industry is rapidly expanding, representing one out of every fifty new jobs added in the U.S. with women representing 28% of the solar workforce according to the 2016 National Solar Jobs Census.
SEI Represented at South Carolina’s
Largest Solar Install to Date
On October 4, Solar Energy International (SEI) was represented at the grand opening of the largest solar array in Upstate South Carolina. The 1 MW solar array, which went live earlier this year, was launched by Glen Raven Fabrics LLC, in partnership with Hannah Solar, a full-service solar integrator based in Atlanta, Georgia, with offices in South Carolina.
SEI’s Student Services and Solar Professionals Certificate Program Advisor, Breccia Cressman, attended the event. Also represented were executive team members from Duke Energy, local politicians, and employees from both Glen Raven Fabrics, and Hannah Solar. Alongside SEI at the “solar village” tent were Gerhardt Electric Bikes, TEVA EV Association, and Elon University with a solar generator.
Help SEI Grow Our Local Breweries and Small Businesses – You Can Help!
If you are one of the thousands of SEI Alumni that have visited our Paonia, Colorado training facility – you know how amazing the local farms, orchards, wineries, and breweries are in the area.
We've loved sharing good times and a beer with you at Paonia's Revolution Brewing, and we're excited to announce that Paonia might soon be home to a brand new brewery!! SEI is committed to helping our local businesses grow and thrive as it is all part of the SEI Family experience when they come here to Paonia, Colorado for their training.
Chrysalis Barrel Aged Beer is currently crowd-funding to launch their business at 201a 1st st. in Paonia, a warehouse just down the street from our classroom on Grand Ave. The new brewery uses top-notch practices incorporating the best locally-grown ingredients that the North Fork Valley has to offer:
Learn more on their website, like them on Facebook, and donate today to bring more awesome, locally-sourced beer to Paonia today!