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SEI Alumni Highlight: Daniel Saldarriaga
Vulcano Operations Director in Colombia
Shares Advice and ExperienceDaniel

Danial Vulcano was born in Medellín, Colombia and has been in the energy industry for about 9 years. Daniel is an energetic, passionate Business Administrator who started working for Vulcano 10 years ago. Four years ago his company began exploring with different energy technologies which initiated them into solar. Experiencing the transition of his company to solar energy created a huge curiosity for Daniel about PV technologies.

With no previous solar energy knowledge, he started searching for information until he found SEI’s free spanish online class – ER100 . His experience of SEI’s expertise and curriculum led him to pursue the first course in the Solar Professionals Certificate program. Once he was finished, he realized he needed a place to practice what he had learned, so he decided to take SEI’s lab classes in Paonia, Colorado. He decided to finish the entire program of study and SEI is proud to announce that Daniel is graduating this month. Daniel shared with us what SEI meant for his career:

“Our sales on solar installations have grown 200% in the last year while there are other solar companies in Colombia that have had no growth at all. I realized by placing myself in the customer’s shoes that I learned what they need,  and that is someone who knows what they are doing. They need someone who is able to provide guidance on what is the best option. And, I learned all of that from SEI; how to understand customer needs and how to put in simple words how solar works and what is the best option for each one of them. Another thing I learned is that you might not always find all that you need on the market, especially in Colombia, so you’ll have to find away to work with what you have and be creative, without losing efficiency or security.”

Read more about Daniel…

SEI Announces the 2017 / 2018
Solar Training Schedule!

We aren’t quite done yet with 2017, but it has been an amazing year of solar training and serving so many students from all over the world!
Every year we meticulously put together a training schedule that hopefully accommodates the needs and training goals for all of our students both online and in-person.  

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.

View the 2017 / 2018 Schedule >>
or call SEI Student Services at 970-527-7657 x1


SEI’s Spanish Program Welcomes Students from Latin America and Around the World

Spanish Program

Fall is here in Paonia, Colorado and the Aspens are at peak color in many areas around our home state, but the sun continues to shine strong providing SEI students amazing hands-on lab experiences.

View Photo Gallery >>

This month, 17 students from our Spanish Program completed a week long training and this week we have another 13 students learning about battery-based solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.  Upon completion these students will receive their professional certificate from SEI!

We are so proud of this group of students who all plan on returning to their countries to continue developing a strong and healthy solar industry in Latin America and beyond. Congratulations to everyone!

Learn more about our SEI Programa Hispano…

​SEI and Industry Partners Offer Career Fair at the 2017 Solar Decathlon in Denver

Solar Decathlon

REMINDER! Mark your calendar for the Solar Decathlon Career Fair Oct. 10th in Denver! SEI will be there supporting this awesome event offering solar training advising and career counseling for people wanting to find careers in the solar industry! 

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition made up of 10 contests that challenge student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses. This year, in Denver, CO, the Solar Decathlon is also co-hosting a Solar & Related Industries Career Fair with the Solar Training Network. We invite you to come enjoy this FREE career networking event and meet some awesome companies that are hiring in your area.

Event Logistics:

  • When: The fair will take place from 12-3pm, on Tuesday, October 10, 2017
  • Where: The Solar Career Fair will be held at the 61st & Peña Station on RTD’s University of Colorado A line commuter rail in the “Education Tent.”
  • Cost: FREE for all to attend

​Solar Energy International (SEI) Curriculum Team Members Selected to Provide Input for the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC®)NEC-Reb

If you are looking for a solar training program that offers the very best expert insight from your instructors and curriculum – SEI IS THE PLACE TO GO TO SCHOOL!

Enroll today!

Solar Energy International (SEI) is proud to announce our non-profit’s selection onto Code-Making Panel 4 of the National Electrical Code (NEC®), which covers Article 690 “Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems,” along with several other areas.

SEI is represented on Code-Making Panel 4 (CMP-4 / NEC-P04) by two of its Curriculum Developers and Instructors: Rebekah Hren as the Principal and Brian Mehalic as an Alternate.

This is a tremendous honor and responsibility: SEI’s participation in this process gives a voice to our instructors, students, and alumni currently working in the industry. SEI’s years of experience and dedication to the solar industry will complement the viewpoints and strong representation already provided by manufacturers, trade industries, labor organizations, utilities, and AHJs.

Read more…

SEI Alumni Highlight: Tim Chester


A confluence of passions led Tim to spend 8 weeks pursuing solar training at SEI’s training facility in Paonia, CO. A veteran and an educator, Tim recently completed SEI’s Solar Professionals Trainer Certificate Program before he begins his new job as a solar instructor newly developed solar training program at the Rural Institute for Veterans Education and Research (RIVER). RIVER is a a special program for veterans who need additional resources and support to pursue educational opportunities after returning to civilian life.
The new position is the perfect progression for Tim’s career. Tim came into solar as he began his career with the US Coast Guard in 1991, servicing solar-powered aids to navigation buoys. However, his career was unexpectedly cemented in solar after his retirement from the Coast Guard in 2012 when he realized his love for teaching. This led him to the Missoula College Energy Technology Program at the University of Montana. His three years of teaching at the university connected him with SEI Instructor Orion Thornton. As the renewable energy program was ending and Tim found himself wanting to focus more on PV. Orion said to him “you gotta go to SEI, there’s no way around it.”

Read more about Tim…

September is Grape Stomp Time


SEI Staff and Students Brave the Weather for the 10th Annual Paonia, Colorado Grape Stomp!

Here at SEI we work hard, study hard, and play hard (even in chicken costumes)! It was rainy and cold this past Saturday and all the teams and some community members braved the weather to take part in the 10th Annual Grape Stomp! It turned out to be a fantastic time! All the teams had great costumes and performances were funny as ever.

The event is an annual fundraiser and this year it supported SEI’s non-profit mission, the Western Slope Conservation Center, and the Paonia library. SEI students and instructors participated and volunteered during the event and if you look in the photos – they are the ones in yellow rain jackets and yellow helmets. SEI’s Executive Director, Kathy Swartz, was running around in a chicken costume and fun was had by all.

View photos…


SEI is Offering In-person Solar Training in the United Arab Emirates – Oct. 29th


SEI is offering an in-person PV101 in the United Arab Emirates – October 29th! This week-long courses take place at the RAK Research and Innovation Center, a one hour drive from Dubai. Registration is now open and spots are limited.

About SEI’s PV101 Course:
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.

SEI Participates in 10th Annual Southern Colorado Construction Career Days


This month SEI’s Kevin Sova – Solar Ready Colorado Student Recruiter, represented SEI at the 10th annual Southern CO. Construction Career Days in Colorado Springs. The event is used to broaden student’s knowledge about the multi-faceted opportunities available and to increase the number of men and women entering the construction industry. The Career Day was attended by over 600 local 11th and 12th graders and was a HUGE success with perfect weather to show how solar works!

View photos…

Join SEI at the Women’s Empowerment – West Coast Summit – October 11th


As a supporter of SEIA’s Women’s Empowerment Committee – SEI invites you to join us at the Women’s Empowerment – West Coast Summit – October 11th, 2017 in Portland, Oregon!
Read more: https://events.bizzabo.com/WEOCT2017

This summit is a joint initiative created through a partnership with SEIA’s Women’s Empowerment Committee and OSEIA. The event aims to facilitate education, connections, and provide thought leadership in the solar industry. Hear from key industry leaders as we cover topics related to leadership, diversity and policy. Come network with leaders in the industry as the summit will include plenty of networking opportunities and an evening reception!

More info…

September 2017 SEI Solar Professionals
Certificate Program Graduates

SPCPCongratulations to our September 2017 SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program graduates! These students have taken at least 200 training hours from SEI!

If you would like to be considered for admission into our most rigorous solar training program click here for more information >>

Congratulations goes to:

  • Chris Baker
  • Michael Alvarez
  • Oscar De Jesús Cantillo Ramirez
  • Fco Javier Carranza
  • Nicolás Andrés Fernández Tapia
  • Elvis Luis Jara Mamani
  • Jorge Maravi
  • Daimer Molina Julio
  • Oscar Paredes Castañeda
  • Jorge Antonio Ramos Paredes
  • Juan Manuel Romero Villanueva
  • Denis Salazar Jiménez
  • Daniel Saldarriaga
  • Emanuele Siragusa

Thank you for supporting Solar Energy International

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

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