Curriculum Translator and DeveloperAlejandro holds an Industrial Engineering degree from Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador, where he is from, and a MSc degree in Energy and Environment from the University of Calgary in Canada, where he currently resides. Alejandro has over 9 years of experience in the energy sector which includes 5 years in the Oil and Gas Industry as Field and Design Engineer plus 4 years in the solar PV Industry. During those 4 years Alejandro has designed and installed solar projects in the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and currently is part of a team designing large scale PV systems in the USA. The experience in those two opposite industries have taught Alejandro the importance of accepting and working with what is currently available, fossil fuels, while being part of the change promoting renewable energy from within. Alejandro also spends his time exploring ways to promote solar energy in Latin America together with likeminded individuals. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, swimming or working on hobbies such as metal and/or woodwork. He mainly loves to spend time with his wife Gaby, daughter Amelia and 2 crazy wiener dogs whether is at a park or hiking/biking the beautiful Canadian Rockies.
InstructorAlex Jahp began his career in the renewable energy field after becoming interested in PV upon seeing the impact that it was having on the ground in rural Africa. Upon returning from his travels, Alex began a work trade program with SEI in 2015 – trading work for classes. He has since worked as a project foreman and as an electrician on a mix of commercial, residential and off-grid PV and has received a NABCEP Professional PV Installer certification. Most recently Alex felt called to return to what got him into the PV field in the first place: providing light and electricity in lesser developed countries. Alex has worked as the Technical Project Manager for Light Up The World in Peru since 2017 heading up design and training for the organization. He spends any other free time surfing, biking and traveling.
PV Curriculum DeveloperAmy found her way to PV in sunny Arizona, as part of an interest in off-grid sustainable living and natural building. She began drafting residential PV systems in 2005, and made an appearance in residential-scale wind power manufacturing as a drafter and document control specialist until 2008, when she moved to California where the PV industry was blossoming. She jumped right in and started designing residential systems, and eventually found herself designing and coordinating multi-megawatt commercial-scale PV projects. She took every opportunity to get out of the office and onto the roof, and in 2011 she became a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional. With special interests in large-scale utility interconnections and multi-use land projects (utilizing landfills, parking lots, etc. for PV), she has worked for several industry-leading companies on projects in multiple states. Amy has a deep love of sharing her knowledge and experience through education and is thrilled to be a part of the SEI Curriculum Development team, in addition to her independent PV system design and consulting work. She can also be found playing and teaching fiddle and singing traditional bluegrass and country music in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Andre Simao was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. With a mechanical engineering background, he has joined the solar industry in 2004. His first job in the solar industry with R&D bridge and product development team. From there, he's being linked into the execution of wide range projects. Solar PV on-grid up to multi MWp, microgrid solar PV systems, hybrid PV systems and diesel replacement. On the other hand, he also works with solar thermal systems up to mid-range temperatures (up to 300C), on this field he has executed solar thermal jobs from thermosiphon in villas, to forced circulation systems in sports stadiums and hotels.
He has worked as a designer and installer of residential and commercial/industrial/utility systems up to mainly in Europe and Gulf region.
Nowadays, he currently runs his own consulting / construction, advisory and project management business, Solar Hands LLC, focused on helping people to optimize, develop and bring solar PV and Solar
He lives in Dubai with his family and enjoying spending his time between music, books and family activities.
SEI InstructorChanna Silva is an international consultant with over 8 years of progressive experience in Solar and renewable energy technologies, with a Master of Engineering Science in Solar & Renewable Energy from the University of New South Wales, Australia and Master of Engineering Management from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. He also a Certified Expert in Climate and Renewable Energy Finance by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in Germany. He overlooked over many MW scale projects in Sri Lanka, Australia, Fiji and Middle East. In February 2019, He co-founded nSolar Consultants, a Sri Lankan based international consultancy firm where He leads as the Chief Technical Officer. He establishes and leads the company’s technological developments while providing all necessary services as a consultant and conducts research on technologies such as storage, floating solar PV, hybrid systems. In addition to the consultancy services, He also provides training and conducts workshops in solar PV internationally. When he is not involved in solar PV, you can find him enjoying and experiencing different cultures, cuisines and travelling the world with family.
InstructorDiane is a Professional Engineer (Mech) who spent most of her career in Alberta, Canada cheering on the solar industry as it continued to make progress in a hydrocarbon dominant area. Understanding the need for diversity while living in a location with an abundance of both resources (sunshine and old dinosaurs) helped Diane operate under the umbrella of “energy industry” since Y2K. With a successful background in instrumentation and controls the transition to finally dedicate 100% of her time to sustainability was easy. Since 2015 she has been operating a renewable energy business in Alberta designing and installing solar projects in western Canada and the United States. Her focus is primarily on battery-based designs, both off-grid and multimode. Diane also runs an urban farm business offering local, sustainable food options and working on greenhouse technologies using solar energy. Instructing for Solar Energy International was a natural decision when they offered classes in Calgary for the first time and she hasn’t looked back since!
SEI InstructorErnesto’s background is in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Universidad Tec de Monterrey of Mexico. After some years working for private companies like GE, he decided to work in the PV industry. He started out in the comercial side as a technical representative for the first PV companies in Mexico by introducing the grid connected systems in 2008. Since then he has evolved in other fields as a project manager, in engineering and as an outsourced PV installer. He has now 5 years with his own company selling, installing and servicing residential and commercial PV costumers. Ernesto also works as a technical trainer for Solar Energy International. He has a NABCEP associate certification, university teaching experience and holds an MBA.
SEI InstructorJason started bending wire and conduit in 1991 as an electrician’s apprentice then entered the PV world when moving off grid in 1994. After lots of self-learning and on the job training, he started an electrical contracting company in 1999 that designs and installs off-grid solar electric systems in the Pacific Northwest. From 2001-2012 Jason taught classes for SEI’s satellite classrooms in WA State and Costa Rica and in 2016 he co-founded Remote Energy, a non profit organization bringing solar technical and vocational training to rural populations worldwide. A few battery banks later, his off-grid home, office and electric vehicle continue to be powered from the sun.
SEI InstructorMarlon Acevedo Rios is an Electrical Engineer from University of Antioquia, Colombia and he has a MSc in in Energy and Nuclear Engineering with emphasis on Renewable Energy at the Polytechnic of Turin in Italy. Marlon actively works in the solar sector in Colombia as engineer in all kind of solar projects: from one or two PV modules for Off-Grid pumping system for a isolated rural/indigenous community up to thousands of kilowatts for Grid-Tie solar projects in Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sector; he also works as a professor teaching solar technology at University of Antioquia, Association of Electrical Engineers from University of Antioquia (AIE UdeA), Exposolar Colombia among others. He enjoys sharing his experience with others because as he said: “when I teaching I learn twice.”
InstructorTamara made a radical career shift in 2008 from promoting democratic development in the former Soviet Union to working in the solar industry in Mexico. Landing on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, she quickly understood the need to live sustainably to not damage the fragile environment. She designed and built two off-grid homes (PV, rain water collection and storage, dry composting toilets, experimental natural building materials). This was her first contact with solar and she was hooked immediately. After taking every SEI class available at the time, she established an off-grid solar company in Tulum, Mexico in 2009. Tamara is actively involved in all aspects of the business including sales, system design, installation, operations and maintenance. She relocated the business to Xcalak in 2014, where Ecolocos serves nearly 100 off-grid residences and small businesses. When not on a roof or in a battery room, she can be found visiting neighbors in her solar-powered golf cart, swimming, making soap or working on some small sustainability project or another.
InstructorEissa graduated with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Omdurman Islamic University in 2003; he also holds an MBA from Sudan Academy of Science; and rounds out his education as an SEI Alumni with his NABCEP Associate's certification. Eissa has been in the solar industry since 2008 when he supervised the swapping of more than 522 mobile network stations from conventional power supply to Off-Grid and Hybrid solar systems in Sudan, Mali, Ethiopia and Egypt. He now serves on the leading Technical Sales Team at ALSA SOLAR SYSTEMS which is based in Dubai and does megawatt scale projects in the MENA region.
InstructorErnesto Grossman was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. He's always looked for practical and innovative solutions that could help the environment and the entire collective. Ernesto got his BS in Mechanical Engineering back home in Venezuela and then pursued his MS in Mechanical Engineering at CU Boulder. Within that time, the track he devoted himself to was energy and environment. Graduated in 2013 and since then he has been kicking the streets installing and implementing solar at the residential, commercial and off-grid levels. He believes in the fractal micro-grid model, where different resources like solar+storage+EV play a key role towards decentralizing the energy markets around the US and the World. He knows that following this recipe will successfully shift the way we share energy and interact. At the end is about boosting local economies within bigger regional and national economies. Currently managing Golden Solar Electric to make the latter something tangible and enjoyable. Ernesto resides in Longmont, Colorado with his beautiful wife Andrea, Daughter Alana and dog Mambo.
InstructorJimmy has been in the solar industry for 10 years since graduating from Appalachian State University's renewable energy program. He started in the industry as an installer on residential and commercial projects and from there moved on to commercial system design. Currently he runs his own business doing contract design, design review and system inspection. Outside of solar he enjoys spending time with his family, riding motorcycles and playing music
InstructorLuis Coronado Coronado is Msc Mechanical Engineer from Universidad de Costa Rica and Magister in Renewable Energies from Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain and MBA from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. He was working for more than 10 years in large hydroelectric power plants and wind power plants for ICE (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad) in Costa Rica, since 2003 he has been working in the area of renewable energies with his own company Interdinámica Energía, designing generation projects with different types of Renewable Energy sources such as photovoltaic, wind and micro hydro, which is his specialty, he has also developed projects for pumping and low enthalpy water heating. He is part of the renewable energies commission of Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos de Costa Rica. He has been an international consultant for the BCIE, BID, and other specialized agencies, he is currently working in the area of feasibility, design, due diligence and commissioning of grid tie and off- grid projects, interconnected to the electricity grid, operated with renewable sources. Now he also makes consultancies at the regional level, focused on the area of business development with renewable sources in developing countries, giving assistance to non-profit organizations.
InstructorRamon, known better as Reny, is a Caribbean native, from the Dominican Republic, that grew up in New York City. He is now residing in the Windy City of Chicago. He has been involved in architecture and renewable energy since 2009. Reny holds a BS in Architectural Engineering Technology and AAS in Environmental Technologies with an emphasis in Solar Energy. He is a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional. He enjoys spending time with his family, motorcycles, cycling, hiking, camping, and of course baseball. He is currently working as a Senior Design Engineer for Borrego Solar Systems in Chicago, and is also an active member of NABCEP’s PVIP Exam Committee.
InstructorSarah's interest in renewable energy systems began during her years at Montana State University, when her family moved to Southeast Alaska. During a visit to the remote, coastal communities in the area, the off-grid power systems there, many of which combined solar, wind and micro-hydro, captured her imagination. After graduating from MSU in 2006 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Sarah worked for Independent Power Systems as an installer. Since then, she has held sales and management positions, and spent a year designing large commercial PV systems for Meridian Solar in Austin, Texas. She earned her Master Electrician license in 2016 and joined OnSite Energy as Project Manager in 2017. She lives in Livingston, Montana.
InstructorCarlos is a Costa Rican Electromechanical Engineer with experience in off-grid solar installations since 1997 and grid-tied installations since 2004. He does design, installation, and maintenance of solar systems. His other experiences includes performing due-dilligence on solar projects, specialized consultancy on CSP, teaching and more.
InstructorJeff Nicholson has been involved in solar since 2012, when he helped build Sigora Solar, Virginia's largest solar integrator. Jeff is a NABCEP-Certified PV Installation Professional and Technical Sales professional. He's been involved in every aspect of the solar industry, from sales and marketing, to installation and system design, to management of a fast-growing installation company. He now helps Sigora develop special projects and works on state-level solar policy issues. Before embarking on the solarcoaster, Jeff worked as an engineering project manager, a home inspector, and a math teacher.
SEI Curriculum Translator and Developer
Max E. Fernandez
InstructorMax studied electrical engineering at the University of Costa Rica and has been working on energy efficiency and renewable energy since 2005. He has been involved in the solar energy sector of Central America since 2010 where he has worked as an advisor in the design and implementation of large scale and self-consumption photovoltaic projects. He was part of the technical group that developed the "International Program of Specialization in Photovoltaic Systems" given by the Technological Institute of Costa Rica. He also was part of the group for the development of the mobile application "BAC SOLAR", a tool for calculating the profitability of solar photovoltaic systems in Costa Rica. In 2015, he obtained SEI's "Residential and Commercial Photovoltaic Systems Certificate" and "Battery-Based Photovoltaic Systems Certificate". Since then, Max has collaborated with SEI's Hispanic team to promote the development of courses in Costa Rica. He currently works as a technical advisor on energy for the Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency Program and Promotion of Geothermal Energy in Central America Program, which are implemented by German Cooperation (GIZ) in Central America.
Pablo Hernández Domancic
InstructorPablo is a professional technician in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, living in La Serena, Chile. He'sdesigned and installed off-grid, hybrid, and grid-tied PV systems since 2012. In addition, Pablo has completed residential hot water systems, energy efficiency assessments and related activities in the field. He is an SEI Alumni and is excited to join the team as an instructor. He is looking forward to sharing his experience, accepting new challenges, and more than anything, to keep learning. When he's not "on the roof", Pablo enjoys playing the guitar, swimming at the beach and taking on dirt jumps on his mountain bike.
Luis Fernando Mulcue Nieto
InstructorLuis Fernando Mulcue Nieto is a Physical Engineer who has his Masters in Physics, Masters in Photovoltaic Solar Energy, and is a PhD Candidate in Physics and Engineering - Renewable Energies. After graduating with honors, he published scientific articles about solar energy in international journals. He was awarded "Grupo de Energía de Bogotá" for his research in simulation of photovoltaic systems. Luis Fernando was also recognized by the Institute for the Development of Alternative Energies in Latin America (IDEAL) in Brazil and the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) in Ecuador, for his invention of an equation that allows engineers and architects to more easily design buildings utilizing solar energy. Likewise, he proposed an international regulation so that the use of the solar panels be as efficient as possible. He currently develops scientific models for use in Architecture of future solar buildings or BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics). For this reason he developed an app for Android called RAITSUN, which predicts the electricity production of a building if all its walls, windows, decks, etc. are solar panels. In addition the app calculates the annual profitability of the energy generated. He is also investigating the design of more economical and efficient solar cells for BIPV, using physical techniques of nanotechnology. Luis Fernando enjoys helping families in trouble, and going out to sea with his wife Kerly and his son David.
Kienan Maxfield has been working in solar design, troubleshooting, and installation since he was 18. He began to focus on the off-grid sector in 2011 and ever since, he has lived in an off-grid lodge in the middle of nowhere, powered by solar and wind. All of his water comes from a solar direct well which is gravity fed to his home. He has held the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Certificate since 2014. Kienan has a love for math, troubleshooting/diagnostics, tools, design, and anything that’s technical. Based out of Utah, he runs his own business “Maxfield Solar” which offers design, installation, and all other services for solar, wind, and hydro; but he finds himself diagnosing and servicing remote off-grid systems more than anything else.
InstructorSarah Wilder has been working in the solar industry since 2002 as a PV installer, system designer, project manager, co-owner of a solar installation company, and energy educator. She’s currently employed at SolarWorld Americas, a PV module manufacturer located just outside of Portland, Oregon, where she is the manager of the training and technical support departments. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado and a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University where she specialized in energy policy and environmental communication. She is a NABCEP-certified PV Installation Professional and an Oregon Limited Renewable Technician, a specialty solar journeyman’s license requiring 4000 hours of on-the-job training. Sarah spends her free time on her 13-acre farm in the rolling green hills of Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
InstructorCarol Weis works as a solar electric instructor and consultant in the US and internationally - working on projects in countries such as Haiti, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Sudan, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, India, Fiji, Nepal, and Pakistan. She also works part-time developing solar training curriculum for organizations such as We Share Solar, OutBack Power, We Care Solar, Solar Electric Light Fund, and USAID. She is an IREC Certified Master PV Trainer TM, and is certified as a PV Installation Professional with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, and she has worked as a licensed electrician and solar installer in Colorado. For sixteen years, Carol was a lead member of Solar Energy International’s Photovoltaic technical team creating a world class PV curriculum for a mainly U.S. market, and now brings that same rigor to help create solar training programs in other countries through the world. Carol advocates for women inclusion in the energy sector, and has led technical solar electric courses to all women classrooms since 1999.
InstructorThomas Honey is a U.S. Navy veteran with over 30 years’ experience in the fields of electrical & electronic technology. He founded Honey Electric Solar, Inc. (HES) in 1994, where under his guidance HES professionally installed and maintained hundreds of Solar Hot Water, Solar Pool Heating, and Photovoltaics systems in PA, NC, and VA. Currently, his focus is to maintain and service existing PV systems, while providing technical guidance to other PV installation companies. At SEI, Tom teaches SEI’s comprehensive curriculum to those who are seeking additional skills as-well-as newly aspiring PV professional. He holds Electrical Contracting Licenses in NC and VA, and is a NABCEP certified PV Installation Professional. As an Adjunct Professor within the North Carolina Community College System he’s taught Introductory and Advanced PV design & installation courses, Commercial Electrical Wiring courses (conduit bending), and ConEd classes about the National Electrical Code.
PV Curriculum Developer and InstructorRoger is a member of SEI's PV Curriculum Development Team and a workshop Instructor. He has had a long-time passion for solar energy - beginning with Mom's clothesline back in the 70's. Since 2002, after a summer of workshops and some hands-on work with SEI, Roger has worked full-time in the PV industry, predominantly in California, and has been a NABCEP Certified PV Installer since 2007. He began as an installer, later working as a foreman, site superintendent and project manager, primarily on grid-direct systems - from small residential to 1 MW commercial systems. He has also performed solar-specific site analysis, troubleshooting, quality assurance and operations and maintenance tasks on thousands of PV sites. Roger is passionate about spreading the understanding and usage of solar power, in addition to teaching best practices for safe, high-quality, NEC compliant PV installations. Currently enjoying the fine food, culture, small waves and bike-friendly routes of the San Francisco Bay Area, Roger can be found late at night playing hockey at Oakland Ice, under 300 kilowatts of PV.
PV Curriculum DeveloperWill began working in the renewable energy industry in 2005 as an installer for small East Coast integrator. During more than ten years with that company, which eventually became RGS Energy, he took on many roles. After starting as an installer, he worked in sales, design, and project management, and he eventually became the Director of Construction for the East Coast. Will has experience in wind power, solar thermal, and all scales of PV, although he has primarily focused on residential systems. He is passionate about implementing high quality, code compliant installation techniques. He is a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional and was previously a NABCEP Certified Solar Heating Installer. Will is now spending his time developing curriculum for SEI and teaching at Vermont Technical College. In his free time, Will can be found working with his wife and young daughter on their homestead in central Vermont, which features an off-grid strawbale house.
InstructorLaura Conchelos is a Canadian transplant who found her way to SEI through New Hampshire, Antarctica and New Mexico. Needing a break from doing construction for the United States Antarctic Program and being interested in renewable energy, a coworker introduced her to SEI. Since taking their classes, she has worked as an installer for a large solar company in Santa Fe, New Mexico and recently moved to the San Luis Valley of Colorado where she enjoys the fishing, hiking and skiing. She also loves installing grid-tied and off grid systems with SGS Renewables in Monte Vista, Colorado! Laura is a NABCEP certified PV installer.
Online Course ManagerWith a background in electronics and IT consulting, Scott began studying renewable energy technology in 2008. Soon after, he discovered SEI and took his first few Solar PV courses and was hooked. Quickly realizing that he was living in one of the most solar friendly states in the U.S. (Massachusetts), Scott made the transition into the industry taking a job as a PV Project Manager and Technical Sales Person for a local installer. During his career, Scott has been involved with the design and sales of numerous residential and small commercial solar PV systems, and has earned NABCEP Certification as a PV Technical Sales Professional. While continuing to work in the field as an independent consultant, Scott has come full circle and is now the Online Course Manager and an Instructor at SEI.
InstructorTony Diaz runs his own company called Century Roof and Solar in the Bay Area in Northern California. Tony is a licensed Electrical as well as Roofing contractor. Tony has more than 29 years of experience in the Roofing and Electrical industry and has been building PV systems since 2001. Tony has been an instructor for Solar Energy International since 2008. Tony is NABCEP Certified and teaches a NABCEP Continuing Educations course called "Roofing For the Non-Roofer" for NABCEP Continuing Education Credits. Tony is also certified by RISE as a CSRP and holds a level 1 license in Thermal Imaging. Tony Provides expert legal services for the solar industry as well as consulting services for both the solar and roofing industry. With all going on in Tony's career, we are blessed to have him in the fold as an instructor here at SEI.
SEI InstructorBrad Burkhartzmeyer is an experienced solar system designer, installer, and Solar Energy International alumnus. He founded Sun's Eye Power Company--a solar energy and electrical contracting company--in 1993. Brad is a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)Certified Solar PV Installer who has spearheaded efforts to bring solar lighting to a women's college in India together with Rotary International. Brad has worked in Rwanda and solar systems for the Make it Right foundation in the lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Brad has helped install renewable energy systems in the developing nations of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Rwanda, and India. He trains installers and teaches classes for community groups wishing to know more about solar possibilities for their own homes. Brad is vice president of the non-profit energy education group Northwest Solar Group in the Puget Sound region. he is co-chair of the Always On solar project that is seeking to establish vocational training for solar installers in developing nations.
SEI Instructor and Curriculum DeveloperKaro's background is in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad de Costa Rica, but has been dedicated to the electrical side of the PV industry since 2009. She started out as a PV project manager for Costa Rica´s utility in 2009. Since then she has worked in regional PV market development for Latin America, renewable energies and energy efficiency for developing countries, and PV system design, inspection and commissioning at residential and industrial levels. In 2015 she founded Ingeniería Fotovoltaica SRL in Costa Rica to provide engineering services for PV projects. The company specializes in NEC based design and installation review, field inspections, and commissioning processes based on IEC standards. Karo is a technical trainer and curriculum developer for Solar Energy International since 2013, and is a certified NABCEP Installation Professional since 2015.
PV Lab Manager
InstructorBill Hoffer has been working in the solar industry in the Pacific North-West for over 16 years. He is an SEI Alumini since 1994, a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer, and a Professional Mechanical Engineer in Washington State. His first job in solar industry with Applied Power Corporation was designing remote off-grid mountaintop cell sites, when 10kW were considered “big” systems. In 1995 he designed the 360kW (160 kW installed in 1996) off-grid system with generator backup at Dangling Rope Marina on Lake Powell, the largest National Park system in the US at that time. He has worked as a designer and installer of residential and commercial systems up to 500 kW. In addition he has designed and tested Balance of System components for Trace Engineering and Outback Power Systems, as well as an innovative solar module system for Silicon Energy. He currently runs his own consulting business, Sunergy Engineering Services PLLC, focused on commissioning utility scale and BIPV systems. He also lives in a strawbale home he designed and built himself and is an avid gardener and ski and dance instructor.
InstructorThe pursuit of independence ultimately led Jay to the field of Renewables. Coming from a career as a mountain guide and educator, it only felt right to understand the world away from the grid. A workshop with SEI laid the foundation, and from there things just fell into place. Eventually, partnered with his wife Lena, they founded Nunatak Alternative Energy Solutions based in the Elk Mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado. Specializing in remote off-grid system installation and design, the mountain environment taught them many lessons in dealing with harsh environments. The challenge and creative problem solving involved in design and implementation of these systems has made a passion out of a career. Being a contract workshop instructor for SEI since 2006 has allowed Jay to dovetail his time as an educator with practical real-world experience. Time off is spent outside: hunting, skiing, running rivers, or just letting his daughter teach him a thing or two about the world.
SEI InstructorChris has a Masters of Science degree in Renewable Energy from Murdoch University. His interest in renewable energy was sparked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador and he continues to pursue solar energy as an enabling technology for sustainable, rural development. Chris has worked on the design, installation and training programs for solar projects in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and throughout the Americas. He is a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer who lives and installs solar in the ‘sunny’ Puget Sound region of Washington State.
PV Electrical DesignerKyra brings extensive experience in PV project planning and design including full project plan-sets, project site analysis, production analysis utilizing PV SYST, layout design, system design, interconnection feasibility, and drafting support. B.A., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
InstructorGrowing up in Alaska, Kyle developed a unique appreciation for our sun that fuels his ambition to harness the perpetual energy source. After installing hundreds of solar energy systems under the scrutiny of Oregon regulations he began traveling far and wide to spread his lessons learned. As an instructor with SEI since 2005 Kyle has worked in more than half of the states in the USA and has experience in several international locations including North America, Central America, Europe and Africa. Kyle’s passion for the sun has spread to a variety of individuals who now comprise the integrity and passion he holds for a truly sustainable future. Kyle has worked with over a dozen companies internally as an employee and as a consultant as well as virtually hundreds of jurisdictions with unique requirements. His career experience spans from mobile solar systems, remote industrial applications, copious grid tie solar applications and small to medium scale micro-grids. This diversity has allowed him to become well versed in the variety of demands and constraints the industry has with technological and regulatory changes. With a mixture of student inquisitions from across the world, government regulatory consulting and hundreds of quality control inspections, Kyle brings a vast amount of real time industry expertise to his work while maintaining an open mind for the journey ahead.
InstructorJay Peltz has been working in the renewable energy field since 1993. He spent from 1994 to 2000 working as the head designer and head of technical support for AEE Solar. In 2000, Jay started his own business specializing in installing and consulting in off-grid solar, water pumping and micro hydro installations. He has lived off the grid for ten years on a 40 acre homestead with solar electric, solar thermal and micro hydro power. Although most of his work is in his local Northern California area, he has done installations in South and Central America, Asia, and many locations here in North America. Jay is an SEI graduate of 1993 and has been teaching with SEI since 1997, his first adventure working with a local Native American tribe. Since then he has taught both here in the US and internationally. When not working he relaxes by surfing and riding his motorcycle. Jay Peltz, IREC Certified Master TrainerTM for PV Installation Professional
InstructorJ.R. Whitley is a licensed electrician, in North Carolina, and a NABCEP certified PV installation professional. A graduate of Appalachian State University with a BS in Appropriate Technology, he has been working in the PV industry since 2006. J.R. has been teaching with Solar Energy International since 2011, and has taught courses for Appalachian State and Central Carolina Community College to name a few. His solar career began at Southern Energy Management (SEM) where he installed, designed, and managed PV projects of all scales. As the industry and the company grew his role transitioned to focus on Operations and Maintenance, Commissioning, and Quality Assurance, developing and managing these departments at SEM. In 2012 J.R. founded 690 Electric, which he currently owns a operates. 690 Electric works closely with project developers, owners, engineering firms, NRTL's, and insurance companies; providing a wide scope of services based on each clients specific needs.
David Del Vecchio
InstructorDavid Del Vecchio is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. He entered the PV industry in 1998 in North Carolina designing, installing and managing off-grid installations. Since 2005, David has been the President of Solar Seed, Inc. performing design, 3rd party QA and inspections, commissioning, troubleshooting as well as in house training for residential, commercial and utility PV system operations and maintenance personnel. While Senior Engineer at Strata Solar, David was responsible for quality control from equipment specification, engineering drawings, construction through commissioning and O&M on over 250MW. David is a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional since 2005 and IREC Certified Master Trainer in PV since 2010. David is also the primary instructor since 2006 for PV courses at the North Carolina Solar Center at NC State University. David started teaching for Solar Energy International in 2008. David Del Vecchio, IREC Certified Master TrainerTM for PV Installation Professional. David Del Vecchio, IREC Certified Master TrainerTM for PV Installation Professional
PV Curriculum Developer and TrainerRebekah Hren has been teaching PV workshops for Solar Energy International since 2007. A North Carolina native, her first PV system was a 300 watt array for her own off-grid cob house. She worked as a residential system installer and designer for Honey Electric Solar, and now works with O2energies on utility scale arrays. Her focus is quality control, Code-compliance, and maintenance. Rebekah is a licensed electrician and NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional. She frequently writes technical articles for Home Power and SolarPro magazines, and has co-authored several books: A Solar Buyer's Guide for Home and Office, and The Carbon-Free Home. Rebekah spends a lot of her free time pondering the meaning of the National Electrical Code.
Onllne Course ManagerPhil has been involved with photovoltaics and renewable energy education since 2004. He has installed systems in Colorado, New Mexico, and South America. He is now involved in PV services such as project feasibility, site assessment, system design, and financing. Phil has instructed for SEI since January 2008 -- both online classes and hands-on labs. In addition to his teaching duties, he is currently the SEI online course manager. Phil has a BS in Geography and an M.Ed. in Adult Education from Colorado State University. He also has a certification in electronics technology. He is NABCEP PV installer and technical sales certified and is an IREC certified PV trainer. Phil lives in northern Colorado. Phil Friedman, IREC Certified Master TrainerTM for PV Installation Professional
PV Curriculum Developer and TrainerBrian Mehalic is a NABCEP-certified PV professional and IREC-certified PV instructor with over 12 years of experience designing, installing, servicing, and inspecting all types and sizes of PV systems. He began his career as Lead Installer and Project Manager at EV Solar Products in Arizona, where he was directly responsible for the design and installation of over 150 photovoltaic systems, ranging from residential off-grid to commercial grid-interactive. For the past several years he worked as Project Engineer for O2 Energies in North Carolina, advising the developer on system design, modeling performance, and performing quality assurance inspections on over 23 megawatts of ground-mounted PV. Currently he is a curriculum developer and instructor for Solar Energy International and North Carolina State University, a frequent contributor to SolarPro and Home Power magazines, and an independent consultant providing services ranging from system design and quality assurance inspections to commissioning, troubleshooting, and maintenance.
InstructorCalling the Pacific Northwest home, Ryan Bradt is a licensed Electrician and Administrator in Washington State with nearly 20 years of experience in the Electrical Construction Industry. Currently he is the Assistant Director and Instructor in Electrical Apprenticeship courses at the NW Washington Electrical JATC. With a passion for emerging technology Ryan enjoys sharing his knowledge of solar PV and electric vehicle supply equipment installation. Active in his local solar community Ryan sits on the Board of Solar Washington and is Ad Hoc Faculty in the Clean Energy Department at Shoreline Community College. In his time away he enjoys hiking and snowboarding in the Cascade Mountains just out his back door.
PV InstructorOrion has been involved in the solar energy industry for over ten years, both as an industry professional and as an advocate through education and community outreach. In 2006 Orion earned an A.A.S. degree in Photovoltaic Installation and Design from San Juan College. In 2008 he became certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) as a Solar PV Installation Professional. He is currently on the board of directors for the Montana Renewable Energy Association (MREA), playing an active role in the organizations goal of promoting renewable energy awareness throughout the state. As a partner/owner of Onsite Energy Inc., Orion focuses on commercial solar project development, but wears many hats within the company, including sales, design, installation, and operations and maintenance procedures. Orion is a Montana native who grew up off-the grid and currently resides in net-zero energy home, powered by solar electricity, solar hot water, and wood heat. Dedicated to a lifetime of teaching, living, and working with renewable energy technologies, he is hopeful for our clean energy future. Outside of work he tries to spend as much time as possible within the many Montana wilderness areas...backcountry snowboarding, backpacking, boating, and enjoying the open spaces. NABCEP Technical Sales Certification #PVTS081112-69
InstructorJeff Tobe is the PV project coordinator and an IREC Certified PV Instructor at SEI. Also a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer, Jeff has designed and led system installations in a variety of renewable energy technologies including grid-tie, grid-tie with battery backup, stand-alone, water pumping and micro-hydro. Jeff has also participated in projects bringing renewable energy to Native American communities. In addition to his PV project and instructor responsibilities, Jeff refurbishes abandoned and used bikes to make available for students and community members as alternative transportation around town in both Carbondale and Paonia. Jeff works in the Paonia office and most recently received his NABCEP Certified PV Technical Sales certificate. IREC Certified InstructorTM for PV Installation Professional
PV Curriculum Developer and TrainerJoe Villacci specializes in system design, installation methods, and performance verification of solar electric systems. He works as technical trainer and curriculum developer for Solar Energy International and is responsible in part for development of SEI's PV training facility. Joe also provides design review, commissioning, and troubleshooting services through his company, OnSight Solar Electric Services. He is an IREC Certified Master Trainer/PV and NABCEP certified PV installation professional. Joe spends most of his free time enjoying the outdoors and is an avid rock climber. Joe Villacci, IREC Certified Master TrainerTM for PV Installation Professional
PV Curriculum Developer and Trainer
Laura Walters has been a member of SEI's PV Technical Team since 2006, updating SEI's internationally recognized PV training program curriculum. From creating the technical diagrams, to working on SEI's PV textbook series, and helping develop the exercises, quizzes and powerpoint presentations, she is busy ensuring SEI's materials are held to a high standard. She has a degree in Environmental Science with a focus on renewable energy and climate change from Dickinson College. She started the college's sustainability program, which is now being emulated across the country, by writing sustainability into Dickinson's strategic plan. In addition to curriculum work, she has taught Native American trainings, Solar In the Schools installations, and PV Lab Week an online PV courses. Her passion lies in international off-grid solar work, and she has recently completed trainings in Uganda and Mexico. In her free time she loves exploring new areas- locally and abroad!
Laura Walters, IREC Certified InstructorTM for PV Installation Professional