Blacks, African Heritage
Middle Easterner Heritage
Young Adults (20-25 years)
This spring, SEI and Shams Global Solutions (SGS), a local Omani company, partnered to launch Oman's first certified solar photovoltaic training program. 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.
This fall, for the first time ever, SEI's industry-leading lab yard experience will be available in the MENA region. SEI and SGS, will be offering their first hands-on PV training PV201L: Solar Electric Lab Week in Oman in November. By the end of 2018, SEI's Middle East and Africa program will have offered 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.
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.
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
OVER $1.5 million has been invested in solar energy in Delta County where SEI is headquartered, thanks to our Solarize Delta County Program! What started as a conversation about how SEI could leverage our expertise in renewable energy to aid economic growth in Delta County (a coal mining county currently in decline with the loss of 800/1,000 mining jobs since 2014), has matured to a robust, local outreach program. Our Economic Revitalization Team, compiled of two AmeriCorps VISTAs and one employee, spearhead educational and outreach efforts to spur economic growth via solar energy adoption.
All we can say is WOW, Delta County is really shining! Since 2015, we've executed three, 3-month educational and outreach programs (Solarize) resulting in 60 systems totaling 450 kW of solar PV installed, over 1,500 local folks educated via 75 free educational workshops, and 9 new solar jobs created in Delta County. Compare that to our pre-Solarize economy where the only solar PV systems you'd find in Delta were at SEI and on the homes of staff and friends of SEI.
Our local rural electric cooperative, Delta Montrose Electric Association, pledged $150,000 to install solar PV systems on all five of our area high schools in partnership with SEI. AND our county was awarded the title of a SolSmart Designated Community by the Department of Energy for our solar-friendly policies and initiatives.
And we're just getting started! Now we're sharing our models and best practices with other Colorado communities that want to use solar energy as an economic driver through our Solar Forward program. Solar Forward is sharing lessons learned across from our Delta County program the State of Colorado. Your gift to the Solarize Delta County program will bring more solar energy to the state of Colorado!
Exciting Solarize Delta County Accomplishments since 2015 include:
-OVER $1.5 million invested in solar energy in Delta County!
-Delta County awarded Bronze SolarSmart Designation by Department of Energy for solar-friendly policies and initiatives.
-Rural-electric coop (DMEA) pledged $150,000 for solar PV installations in five area schools.
-60 solar PV systems totaling 450 kW installed.
-9 new solar PV jobs created.
-75 free renewable energy educational workshops delivered to >1,500 citizens.
-County Commissioners acted as early adopter of Colorado's Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (C-PACE) program.
-First agricultural C-PACE project in the State of Colorado executed in Delta County.
Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
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!
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
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent
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!
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!
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.
"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
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Immigrants, Newcomers, Refuges
Middle Easterner Heritage
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. Currently we have four active scholarship programs:
1. The Walt Ratterman Scholarship honors the late Walt Ratterman, a beloved SEI instructor who passed during an earthquake in Haiti. Walt dedicated his life to making others' lives better around the world. At the time of his death, he was working in Haiti on solar projects for health clinics in remote, rural areas. Now Walt's legacy lives on through his scholarship fund, providing scholarship opportunities for SEI students who seek to implement solar PV technology solutions in developing countries.
2. The Heather Andrews Scholarship Fund supports women's solar training. Heather was a SEI alumna and solar champion who passed away Feb. 8, 2012, after complications from brain surgery. This scholarship supports female SEI students pursuing hands-on training at our lab yard training facility. It also supports female SEI students with partial tuition scholarships for SEI online training.
3. The Johnny Weiss Scholarship Fund honors our Co-Founder, Johnny Weiss. In 2013, Johnny retired from SEI and we wanted to honor him for his vision in co-founding SEI in 1991. Johnny's Scholarship Fund supports solar training for Native Americans and students from developing countries.
4. The General Scholarship Fund offers scholarship opportunities for students that do not fit into a specific demographic but must seek financial assistance to receive solar training.
Your donation to SEI's scholarship programs is ultimately an investment in a more sustainable future, driven by renewable energy! At the end of the day, there are always fewer scholarship opportunities than there are qualified, passionate individuals determined to join the solar industry.
Our students go out into the world and do great things! So far they've installed over 4500 MW of solar PV, and that number grows exponentially each year the solar industry grows, both domestically and internationally. Help educate the next generation of solar pioneers!
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.