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Solar Energy International

We've trained over 76,000 people from 145 countries. SEI Alumni have designed, installed, commissioned, or maintained over 10% of the WORLD's installed solar PV. This is having a real impact on climate change, and we're just getting started.

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Middle East & Africa

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Blacks, African Heritage
Females
Middle Easterner Heritage
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

SEI and local Omani partner Shams Global Solutions (SGS) launched Oman's first certified solar photovoltaic training program in 2018, and SEI has been a leading training provider in the region since.

The program's first course, PV101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) was officially certified by Oman's Distribution Code Review Panel (DCRP) and supports applications to become a DCRP approved Solar Professional. This DCRP certification is required for individuals looking to work as a consultant or contractor for grid-connected photovoltaic systems in Oman's quickly growing solar industry.

In the fall of 2018, for the first time ever, SEI's industry-leading lab yard experience became available in the MEA region. SEI's Middle East and Africa program now offer trainings in Oman, UAE, Israel, Kuwait and Egypt through a combination of public and private courses and soon plans to expand training opportunities to Saudi Arabia. The program has also worked with companies such as Shell Development Oman, Diamond Developers and the Uganda Ministry of Water and the Environment.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Solar Energy International has trained over 2,500 people from the MENA region through a combination of
our online; intensive hands-on training at our campus in Colorado, USA; MENA-based conferences;
satellite trainings in the UAE; and contract trainings for clients in the region.
77 students from the energy industry, electrical utilities and academia have completed the PV101 at the on-site lab course, which introduces the core concepts of the design and installation of grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, including solar site analyses, PV system components, mounting structures, system wiring, interface protection and safety, among others. The program plans to train up to 75 more students before the end of the year.

Solar In the Schools (SIS)

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)

Description

SEI is committed to engaging Western Colorado's High School students to learn more about Renewable Energy. High School is a critical time of transition in a young adult's life whether he/she is going on to college, entering the workforce or enlisting in the military. SEI is focused on helping create technical career pathways for youth to excel in whichever direction life takes them.

Specifically, the SIS High School Career and Technical Pathway Program is focused on training a young workforce for jobs after High School. SEI is committed to delivering concurrent post-secondary training for a young workforce in preparation for the solar jobs of tomorrow.

SEI's industry-recognized Record of Completion is awarded to successful students after finishing our most popular course, PVOL101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct). This is the same training adults receive. A student can take this education to a company and be hired at the introductory level, launching a career in the solar industry, or use it as preparation for STEM majors in college.

To date, 44 high school students have successfully completed our grid-tied solar electric course in four semesters. We hope to expand to regionally, and eventually nationally!

We've secured solid funding from Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) to support the installation of solar electric (PV) systems at five high schools within DMEA's service territory. The five high schools will incorporate renewable energy education into their curriculum to enable students to engage with the on-site solar electric system.

Additionally, our SIS outreach program introduces renewable to regional 8th-grade students through a day of renewable energy labs. Over 400 students are trained at SEI's lab facility in Paonia, CO during a full day of introductory solar energy activities. Students are engaged in hands-on solar energy lab stations which include lessons and activities in energy efficiency, measuring power, solar orientation, solar site analysis, testing properties of a photovoltaic cell, and solar art.

By donating to our Solar in Schools program, you will help us update our online curriculum, making it more interactive for a high school audience. With updated curriculum, we have the ability to expand and educate more high school students!

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Exciting Solar in Schools accomplishments since 2015 include:
-SEI awarded $150,000 to install 5 solar PV systems on area schools
-Solar PV system donated to SEI to install on Paonia High School
-Over 800 8th graders have attended SIS lab days
-44 high school students have been trained and received SEI's Record of Completion in four semesters
-Four students have continued SEI training in pursuit of joining the solar industry after graduation
-Fall 2017 student awarded Youth Leadership Award by National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, including trip to Washington DC to meet Colorado legislators and participate in Youth Energy Summit

Programa Hispano

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Ethnic/Racial Minorities
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent
Unemployed, Underemployed

Description

Programa Hispano focuses on making solar energy education more accessible to Spanish Speakers. Starting in 2013 with the translation of one SEI course, today the Program offers a full course list of solar training and certification through our Solar Professionals Certificate Program. Programa Hispano is conducted completely in Spanish, from registration and enrollment to the classroom.

We're excited to announce that with our regional partners, Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y de Arquitectos and Colegio de Ingenieros Electricistas Mecánicos e Industriales, we opened our FIRST international lab yard training facility in the Spring of 2018! The facility is modeled after our successful training center in Colorado and provides a regionally accessible, affordable location for Spanish speakers to obtain first-hand solar installation experience.

As Latin America continues to lead the world as the fastest growing market for renewable energy adoption, SEI continues to evolve, building the foundations for a long-term sustainable training program focused on the Spanish-speaking world. The commitment of the SEI Board, and recent growth in staffing will aide in this, providing a lasting impact for the region.

So far we've built 3 grid-tied solar interactive labs. Your donation will help bring battery-based solar energy training to Latin America!

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The most exciting Programa Hispano accomplishments since 2015 include:
-Offered 21 Programa Hispano workshops reaching over 600 Spanish speakers.
-Offered workshops in countries/states including Chile, Mexico, California, Costa Rica, and Colorado.
-Launched a Spanish language website for the Program, increasing first-time visitors to an average of 20,000 people per month
-Developed international lab yard training facility in Costa Rica to make training more accessible!

Active Duty Military and Veterans Career Transition Program

Class

Employment 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Military/Veterans
Military
Veterans

Description

To honor those who have served our country and who are choosing to follow up their military service with a new mission of service in the renewable energy sector, Solar Energy International (SEI) launched our Active Duty Military and Veterans Career Transition Program. Approved for Veterans Benefits, we proudly offer educational opportunities to active military members, veterans, and their families for our six-week, 240-hour certificate program including in-person and intensive hands-on training.

SEI piloted Solar Ready Vets on military bases for the US Department of Energy. However, the DOE has defunded this program. Because SEI is approved to accept Veterans Benefits, we fill a huge need for veterans wanting to enter the solar industry.

SEI offers students a holistic experience from start to finish. Our Military Outreach Coordinator, retired Air Force vet and SEI alum, Kevin Sova, engages active duty military on-base and veterans. Our Student Services team counsels veterans about our solar training program and jobs. We offer career resources and tools including resume assistance and an active job board. Our veteran alumni have gone on to start their own solar companies (with other vets), work as solar installers, and work at SEI!

Your donation to the Program will provide more resources to make our training accessible to Active Duty Military and Veterans. You will invest in scholarships for those who cannot utilize the GI Bill and funds to hire a career counselor to help place Vets in jobs post-training.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

"Thought you would like to know I landed a new position--Solar Design and Sales Consultant! ...I could not have made this change with out the help and training I got from SEI... Like you said, you helped get me in the door and it was up to me to take it from there. Thank you!" ~Dan Hall

Scholarship Programs

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Ethnic/Racial Minorities
Females
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Immigrants, Newcomers, Refuges
Middle Easterner Heritage

Description

Solar Energy International is proud to offer scholarship opportunities for students, worldwide, to attend our training. Often those who could benefit from solar energy education the most are unable to access it because of cost. Solar Energy International aims to remove that barrier by offering scholarship opportunities to students.

Scholarships to those who need it most are powered by donations. In 2019, SEI was able to offer 87 scholarships to folks around the world, we hope to continue to grow this number each year.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Our alumni! They go out into the world and do great things!

For instance, SEI Alumni Doug Sabetti. His solar story:

Living in Rhode Island, I sought out and found the most knowledgeable person in the local solar industry and he became my mentor. With his advice, I took classes from Solar Energy International, the most reputable solar school in the country. With a 30-year career in construction and carpentry, I decided that I wanted to make the switch to Renewable Energy as a new career. After completing SEI classes, I worked for a few different local installers. The problem for me was they did not have the proper PV education and were doing poor work.

With a strong desire to do things right, I relied on my education from SEI and started my own business, Newport Solar. At the time, there wasn't much for incentives in RI, but there was a 25% state tax credit. When I installed my first system, the homeowner received the tax credit and the future looked bright. When I installed my second system, the tax credit had disappeared, and the future suddenly didn't seem so bright anymore. That early lesson taught me that not only would I need to be an expert on solar, but I would also have to learn policy. One of my state representatives pointed out that doing something good for the environment could also do something good for the economy and she worked to get the tax credit reinstated, but it was an uphill battle. I testified for that reinstatement, but we lost that battle and work in the solar field became hard to find. I continued working as a carpenter, installing a PV system every once in awhile.

When our state joined forces with neighboring states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the legislators took another look at solar incentives. A few of our neighboring states had solar incentives in place and their industries were thriving. Having one of the worst economies in the nation, Rhode Island finally took a serious look at solar again and created a solar grant program. With the grant in place, along with the federal tax credit, my solar work started picking up again.

Fast-forward five years, and a lot of hard work, I now employ eleven people and our business is thriving. I enroll all of my installers, including licensed electricians, with Solar Energy International for the absolute best PV education in this ever-changing field of renewable energy.

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