Thanks to Solar Energy International’s partners, we are able to offer need-based scholarships to cover tuition costs for solar training to a select number of aspiring and current solar professionals each year.


Caribbean Solar Energy Training Network (CaribSETNet) Scholarship

The Caribbean Solar Energy Training Network (CaribSETNet) scholarship was founded by Solar Island Energy to provide practical, technical skills training to current and aspiring Caribbean PV practitioners.

Caribbean Solar Energy Training Network (CaribSETNet) was founded by Solar Island Energy to provide practical, technical skills training to current and aspiring Caribbean PV practitioners. This year CaribSETNet will award 10 to 20 partial- or full-tuition scholarships in solar training to selected applicants to advance their professional development and support their entry into the Caribbean solar-energy workforce. The funding will apply to SEI’s online training curriculum.

Recognizing that the Caribbean is one of the most demanding environments to deploy solar energy and microgrid systems, CaribSETNet aims to create consistency in key safety and technical solar skills from sales to engineering to construction practices; elevating the playing field for energy practitioners while bridging the gap between the supply and demand for solar jobs

CaribSETNet aims to provide practical technical skills training to current and aspiring Caribbean PV practitioners. This will start with SEI’s industry-leading PVOL101 solar fundamentals course and solar safety training package. Each program participant can then decide which direction to take their career path in the solar-energy industry.

Workforce Trainees
Opportunity for individuals interested in joining the solar industry upon successful completion. 50-90% scholarship for PVOL101; based on need.

Career Development Trainees
Opportunity for individuals currently working in solar to refine their skills. 25-75% scholarship for PVOL101; based on need.

Currently, those looking to apply for scholarship funding must live in the Bahamas or OECS nations, although the program may be geographically expanded next year. Applicants must be passionate about a career in solar energy and willing to invest their time and passion into this exciting and important industry.

Selected candidates will be awarded tuition funds based on eligibility and need. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will have the opportunity to connect with potential employers and enroll in SEI’s safety course for free.

To apply for a CaribSETNet scholarship, submit an application via SEI’s scholarship page and indicate your interest in joining CaribSETNet. Q4 applications are due September 11 for a September 27 start date.


The BayWa r.e. Solar Systems Scholarship

BayWa r.e. Solar Systems LLC, a leading U.S. solar distributor committed to providing a best-in-class order fulfillment solution that combines robust logistics and streamlined warehousing, is pleased to support the SEI mission with a scholarship created to expand access to SEI’s carefully designed training.

BayWa r.e. Solar Systems LLC is a leading U.S. solar distributor committed to providing a best-in-class order fulfillment solution that combines robust logistics and streamlined warehousing. The health of the solar industry, and the interests of businesses and home owners who seek to add solar to their properties, depend on well qualified installers who are committed to quality and safety.

With this in mind, we strongly support the work of Solar Energy International to provide carefully designed training to continue expanding the pool of expert solar installers in the U.S. market. As part of our ongoing efforts to help support a healthy solar industry, we are pleased to support the SEI mission. This scholarship fund was created to expand access to this training to pay for their coursework.


The Duke Energy Renewables Scholarship

Duke Energy Renewables, who operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., is pleased to provide a scholarship to assist Americans who have experienced recent job displacement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duke Energy Renewables, who operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., is pleased to provide a scholarship to assist Americans who have experienced recent job displacement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Focused on supporting communities economically affected by the pandemic, Duke Energy Renewables’ SEI scholarships have been established with the goal of empowering soon-to-be solar energy experts with the necessary training to quickly join a growing and secure solar workforce. The scholarship fund will award $10,000 in solar training tuition fees for SEI online or in-person training to selected students to support their professional development and eventual entry into the solar energy workforce.

Please note that SEI will be selecting the scholarship recipients and that the scholarship does not include or guarantee employment with Duke Energy Renewables. The $10,000 scholarship fund will be dispersed among several recipients.


Live It Like Austin Scholarship

The Webster Family and the National Independent Service Association created the Live It Like Austin Scholarship to honor our SEI student, supporter, and friend Austin Dale Webster.

From the Webster Family:

We could certainly talk for days about Austin, the amazing son, brother, friend and person. However, we will simply give you a small glimpse into his special heart, and how he discovered his passion for making the world a better place through solar energy.

Though Austin did not have many faults in our eyes, he was always looking to better himself.  Austin was a notorious “list” writer all his life. These lists addressed everything; things he needed to do for school, things he needed to do at his house, things he needed to do at work, things he needed to do on a Thursday, and things he needed to do next year. In his scraggly script, he wrote “pay rent to Jean”, “check ticket sale dates for Counterpoint”, “get dad to cut my hair”, and other routine tasks.

Then there were his big lists;  “What Do I Believe?”, “What Do I Want?”, “What Have I Done Right?” and “What Can I Do Better?”. Austin wanted to be inspired and to inspire. Austin wanted to be wealthy in happiness. Austin wanted to have no enemies. Austin believed that the right thing to do isn’t always the easy thing. Austin valued honesty and straightforwardness. Austin believed it was important to remain optimistic in certain contexts, but to also be realistic. Austin felt he should be less judgmental.  Austin felt he should connect with family and friends more, and show gratitude. Austin believed he could do anything he wanted, but not everything. Austin believed his primary goal was improving the world and this should be the primary goal for everyone. Austin believed that “All of this is a miracle.”

Austin fell in love with solar around the end of 2016. This love was nurtured by his “networking” at the City Tap, a bar where he worked in Pittsboro, NC. The Tap is a unique local bar, catering to aspiring musicians, local breweries, and people from all walks of life. It was at the Tap that Austin truly found peace in the man he had become. Austin possessed a heartfelt and genuine passion to help provide natural, clean, and affordable sources of power for families of all backgrounds. Through his contacts at the Tap and other extensive research, Austin found The NC Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State University.  He approached us with his ideas and desire to start the Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series. In May of 2017, he eagerly registered for the first workshop in the series. Completion of this 40-hour workshop sent him on his way into the world of photovoltaic (PV) systems and becoming a certified PV installer. In the fall of 2017, Austin accepted a job with Sun Dollar Energy, a family owned solar energy company which offers residential solar panel installations. To say Austin was happy is an understatement. Working on rooftops, in the heat and the cold, Austin found his calling. In June of 2018, Austin completed a second workshop at the Technology Center. Austin was saving money for his journey to Solar Energy International (SEI) in Paonia, Colorado, with plans to enroll in their Solar Professional Programs. He was already taking SEI’s introductory on-line courses. Austin passed away on July 27, 2018 under circumstances beyond his control. Though he will not achieve further solar certifications, we know that he would be honored to assist other deserving individuals to reach this goal.  This is our purpose and our objective. With the help of our special friends in the National Independent Service Association, the Live It Like Austin Scholarship was established.

Without a doubt, our sweet, gentle man improved our world and continues to make the world better for all of us. Hopefully and with every ounce of our existence, we can all follow his beautiful and inspiring example.

With love, hugs and remembering always to Live It Like Austin,

Teri, Richard, Audrie, Vini, Viviana, Andrew and Jessica


Kenneth King Foundation Scholarship

Established in 1990, the Kenneth King Foundation is a private, grant making organization. Located in Denver, Colorado, the Foundation’s mission is to perpetuate and expand the humanitarian principles developed by their late founder Kenneth King.

Solar Energy International (SEI) is excited to announce a new scholarship opportunity provided by the Kenneth King Foundation.

Established in 1990, the Kenneth King Foundation is a private, grant making organization. Located in Denver, Colorado, the Foundation’s mission is to perpetuate and expand the humanitarian principles developed by their late founder Kenneth King. Today, they support organizations that provide basic needs, create jobs, and foster entrepreneurship.

This scholarship will provide 100% tuition to 4 English speaking students for SEI’s PV101 Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) and PV201L Solar Electric Lab Week (Grid-Direct). Each class is one week long and will be taught at the SEI campus in Paonia CO. As part of this scholarship, students’ expenses will be covered, including a $600 stipend, $500 for lodging, $715 towards daily expenses, and $275 for travel expenses to the SEI campus. Furthermore, recipients of the Kenneth King scholarship will be provided job and resume counseling by SEI Student Services.

Candidates must:
• Apply before June 1st, 2020
• Be in an underserved demographic (low income, under-employed, previously incarcerated, previously
• Be 18 years of age or older
• Be a legal resident of the state of Colorado
• Sign up for and pass SEI’s free RE100 class
• Complete scholarship essay
• Be able to relocate to Paonia CO for 2 weeks
• Agree to share periodic progress reports and photo which may be used for marketing purposes

To apply, click the button below or call 970.527.7657, option 1.


Para aplicar en español, haga clic en el botón de abajo o llamada 970.527.7657, opción 8.


The Levi Heinold/Mountain Power Scholarship

Scott Ely and Sunsense Solar created this scholarship to honor Levi Heinold by empowering aspiring solar professionals to complete SEI’s entry-level solar training and certification.

From Scott Ely:

One of my best friends and long-time solar buddy, Levi Heinold, passed away in late February of 2018. As I continue to wrestle with this reality, I got to thinking about what he represented to anyone and everyone in his orbit.

I first met Levi at a Solar Technology Institute PV class in Carbondale, Colorado in 1992 (the forerunner of SEI). Richard and Karen Perez from Home Power were the guest instructors and I was there in a support role as the local solar business owner. We hit it off immediately (with some assistance from a 12-pack)!

Our friendship only blossomed from there. As budding solar businessmen, we collaborated on projects and over the next 25 years, we worked extremely hard and shared countless experiences and stories. We climbed peaks, we camped, we played in the snow and we partied. I have always, and will always, considered him my brother.

Levi had a work ethic like no other. In his earlier days he hiked both the Pacific Coast Trail and the Appalachian Trail (twice!). He built a reputation around a quality business without the use of a website, logos on vehicles…heck, I’m not sure he even had business cards! Everyone wanted Levi on the job because they could count on personalized service and a job well done.

Most of all, Levi built things and he fixed things. My standard description of Levi always included…”nothing scares him.” He was a Master Plumber, NABCEP Certified in PV and DHW, a self-taught mechanic and a problem solver. Levi was practical, but never shied away from a challenge. He was a risk-taker, yet laid-back as well. In short, one of the most solid people I have ever known.

It is with this in mind that I wanted to pay tribute to those that build. The awards, recognition and yes, the money, generally stay upstream. But it is literally the people in the trenches that make this whole solar thing work.

So God speed, Levi. You brought so much love, joy, laughter and passion to this world. I am a better person having known you and will forever work as hard as I can to continue your vision of a caring people and a sustainable planet.

To those interested in hard work without the hoopla, but with a passion for PV and getting the job done, I offer this scholarship opportunity. And to those successful in this endeavor, potential employment awaits at Sunsense Solar!


Veterans and Active Duty Military Scholarship

U.S. veterans and service members can choose to use their military education benefits at Solar Energy International.

SEI’s Solar Professionals Certificate Program is an approved technical training program for many federal and state based veterans education funding.  This is a truly inspirational outreach program for veterans and active duty military personnel. SEI has experienced a dramatic increase in recent years of veterans who wish to attend SEI training and are looking for funding opportunities to take full advantage of all that SEI has to offer. In addition to being approved for eligible veterans to us their Veterans Education Benefits, SEI also works with foundations and outside supporters to provide scholarship funding from time to time.

To learn more and apply for the Veterans’ program, click the button below.


Walt Ratterman Scholarship

If you are from a developing country and would like take SEI training in order to bring renewable energy technologies to your community, you may qualify for the Walt Ratterman Scholarship


Walt Ratterman was an instructor, alumni, supporter and friend of SEI, who perished in the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  He was also an incredibly dedicated one-of-a-kind individual who touched thousands of people’s lives around the world. Walt was in Haiti working on solar projects for health clinics with the organization that he cofounded, SunEnergy Power International (SunEPI).  SunEPI works around the world to improve people’s quality of life with renewable energy technologies in remote, rural areas.Some of Walt’s work can be seen in Adrian Belic’s award winning film “Beyond the Call” which documents Knightsbridge International, a humanitarian and medical aid organization to which Walt belonged that worked in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

Walt and his Knightsbridge buddies were described as a cross between Indiana Jones and Mother Theresa, and there is no better way to describe Walt.  Fear was not a word in his vocabulary, and he had a heart of gold. And that is probably an understatement on both accounts. Whether it was crossing the border into Burma in the middle of the night with solar equipment to train Burmese medical technicians, or wearing a burqa in Afghanistan under the Taliban to see what it was like to be a woman in that country, Walt’s quest for knowledge and his desire to help those in need was extraordinary.  If there were people in need, and Walt could help, it didn’t matter their geographic, political or religious affiliation, he would be there. To Walt, humanitarian aid knew no boundaries.

Walt brought solar training and humanitarian aid to Rwanda, Uganda, Afghanistan, Benin, Burundi, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Palestine, the Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Tibet, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, Haiti, and the list goes on.  And the list of NGO’s he worked with is almost as long as the countries he worked in. The Solar Electric Light Fund, Green Empowerment, the Border Green Energy Team, Solar Energy International, Engineers without Borders, Light Up the World, and many others all benefited from Walt’s incredible knowledge and dedication. SEI feels privileged to have known and worked with Walt over the years.  Although he is now gone from this Earth, his spirit lives on, in the many thousands of lives around the world that he has touched, and the remarkable work that people he has inspired will keep on doing.

He was truly a solar hero.


Women in Solar Scholarship

Women make up only 26% of the U.S. Solar Workforce, and 32% of the renewable energy workforce worldwide. SEI aims to change that by elevating women into technical career pathways.

SEI originally established the Women in Solar Scholarship fund in honor of SEI alumna, Heather Andrews, who passed away February 8, 2012, after complications from brain surgery.

As a woman journeyman electrician, a proud union member of Las Vegas Local 357, and a skilled solar professional, Heather is a prime example of how women should lead in the solar industry. Known for her technical know-how, Heather was always upholding good electrical work and code enforcement on the job.

“You have to imagine a 5′ frame and a non-stop brain that was always observing details, asking questions and making quick jokes. She talked really fast, and was not afraid of heights, pets or dark beer … in moderation, of course. She may have been small, but Heather had a vice-like hug that she wrapped around students, colleagues and new friends. She was so solid and so strong.”

Heather is an example of a woman that made the solar industry shine. Now more than ever, as we work towards accelerating clean energy and building a global solar energy workforce, we need women’s talents and perspectives to lead the energy transition. Join us in empowering the next generation of women to lead through solar jobs.


Johnny Weiss Scholarship

In 2013, SEI established the Johnny Weiss Scholarship in honor of our Co-Founder, Johnny Weiss. 

In 2013, Johnny transitioned his role to an advising consultant and we wanted to honor him for his vision in co-founding SEI in 1991. Because of Johnny’s vision, SEI has trained over 65,000 people and has had a significant impact on the renewable energy industry. This scholarship is for one person per year, chosen personally by Johnny Weiss, who demonstrates Johnny’s commitment to making the world a better place through service. A preference is given to Native Americans or people from the developing world. This scholarship is for a full tuition course.


SEI General Scholarship

Tuition assistance to those in financial need, from any country worldwide, and who are often underemployed or unemployed and in search of a new and meaningful career.

With help from our partners and donors, Solar Energy International (SEI) is here to help you achieve your solar journey goals. Fill out an application today to get started.





“Incredible experience, incredible training, incredible staff, incredible location.”

-Brian Angelo