SEI was recognized by the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association at 2018 Solar Power Mountain West

Aurora, CO.- On Monday, March 12 Solar Energy International (SEI) was recognized by the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) at 2018 Solar Power Mountain West’s Solar and Energy and Storage Awards in the category for projects sized 100 kW- 500 kW.

The awards recognized “the success stories of the Colorado industry.” And focused on “the people, processes, products and the innovation that drive the industry forward to achieve success in a competitive market,” according to COSEIA.

SEI was honored for their efforts in developing the solar market in their rural home base in Western Colorado, Delta County. A three-year cumulative effort led by SEI’s team of AmeriCorps VISTAs (Volunteers in Service to America) has been successful in garnering 400 kW of installed solar in the region, amounting to $1.5 million invested locally in solar energy.

“We are so thankful to COSEIA for highlighting our rural community’s solar market in Delta County,” Mary Marshall, former VISTA and program coordinator for SEI’s Solarize Delta County Farms program, and current Solar Forward program manager, said. “It is imperative to elevate success stories like those of Delta County that have the potential to inspire a solar movement throughout rural America.”

Marshall added, “This award is shared by not only SEI VISTAs, but our amazing partners in Delta County who made all of our outreach programs possible, such as our partnered installers, Empowered Energy Systems, who were also nominated for an award, and so many more supportive community members who encouraged the growth of solar and Solarize.”

Delta County was also recognized for taking positive strides to encourage a thriving solar market in the fall of 2017 with a bronze SolSmart Designation through a program by the Solar Foundation, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Office.

SEI’s efforts in Delta County continue today on a broader scale through the new Solar Forward program, where communities throughout Colorado are encouraged to apply for SEI’s technical assistance in implementing their own solar outreach efforts. VISTA efforts continue as well with an innovative “Solar in Schools” vocational training program with SEI curriculum for high school students.

At the awards, Kathy Swartz, SEI executive director, was also nominated for a Lifetime Achievement award by COSEIA.  The honor went to SEI alum Blake Jones who went on to start Namaste Solar.  Congratulations to Blake for his lifelong work in pushing the Colorado solar industry forward!