Solar Energy International Does Dallas

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SEI is pleased to offer four pre-conference trainings at Solar Power International in Dallas in October. We have an all-star line-up of trainings and presenters for both our one- and two-day trainings.

Sunday and Monday, Oct. 16-17, 2011

Monday, Oct. 17, 2011

Meet our friendly staff at Booth 1050. We are representing big time this year with over 21 staff and instructors attending. Alumni, show your SEI team spirit with our complimentary SEI buttons available at our booth, and take a sneak peak at our new PV textbook soon to be published. We have a few free exhibit hall passes available. If you are interested, please contact Chris Smith at 970-527-7657, ext. 200.

Upcoming Workshops on Beautiful Guemes Island
If you would like to get some solar or wind training in a beautiful area of the US, check out SEI’s workshops onGuemes Island, Washington. Guemes Island is a small, residential island in the San Juan Islands chain, a 10-minute ferry ride from Anacortes.

SEI has been holding workshops on Guemes Island for 15 years, leading to a surprising number of solar-electric, solar hot water, and wind-electric projects on this small island. There are more than 30 renewable energy system tour sites on the island. This rich diversity is leveraged during each workshop, through daily opportunities to move from the classroom to hands-on learning to touring working systems. These tours bring students together with system owners, see how their vision became reality, and become inspired by these RE pioneers.

Join us on Guemes Island this fall for these exciting workhops:


In Our Hearts and Minds
August and September were months of great happiness and sadness for SEI staff.

  • We are pleased to announceHolly Loff has joined SEI as our Development Associate. Holly’s enthusiasm and passion for what she does is contagious and we are so pleased to have her (and her dog Chukar) on our team.
  • And huge congratulations to Matthew Harris, our Paonia Land Manager, who recently married SEI alumna Alexis Halbert in a beautiful outdoor ceremony. They met at an SEI workshop in 2006. Another good reason to get trained at SEI – you never know who you’ll meet.

On a sadder note, all of us at Solar Energy International mourn the passing of two amazing members of the SEI family. Geoff Legg, was a SEI alumnus from 2001 and a great friend to many of the staff members at SEI. We already miss his prank calls, infectious laugh, and vision.

And we sadly say goobye to Louis Valenta from InterIsland Solar in Honolulu. Louis loved the solar industry and was SEI’s go-to-guy when we offered trainings in Honolulu, taking our instructors sailing without fail and sharing his solar knowledge with anyone. His heart was huge, his voice was loud and he is missed.

Native Rhythyms for Native Energy
SEI recently participated inTrees, Water and People’s (TWP) Native Rhythms for Native Energy event to support renewable energy on tribal lands. Since 2003 TWP has installed more than 800 supplemental solar heating systems at Pine Ridge, Rosebud and other Great Plains reservation communities, through their Tribal Lands RE Program.

In 2006-2007, TWP expanded the program to include a pilot installation of a household-scale wind turbine and PV system on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota.  TWP and their Pine Ridge partner,Lakota Solar Enterprises, also established the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, where tribes from around the country can receive hands-on training in renewable energy applications from Native American trainers.

The program is currently working on the Pine Ridge, Rosebud and Cheyenne River Reservations in South Dakota, Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Reservations in North Dakota, and with Winona LaDuke and theHonor the Earth organization on the White Earth and Red Lake Reservations in Minnesota.


6.8% Solar Job Growth Since August 2010
Tor Valenza (aka Solar Fred) recently reported on some early numbers from the 2011 National Solar Jobs Census. There will be more data released at Solar Power International 2011 in Dallas, but here’s the early scoop from Solar Fred:

As of August 2011, there are 100,237 solar workers in the U.S. in all 50 states. Across the solar supply chain, from installers to balance of system (BOS) manufacturers, to yes, even solar PV manufacturers, that’s a 6.8% growth rate since August 2010. In terms of exact numbers, there were net 6,735 new solar jobs created since August 2010. “When I say, ‘net’,” says Solar Fred, “my sources tell me that these numbers also accurately include the recent job losses from Solyndra and Evergreen.”

Read the entire article

More Facts About Solar Energy 
You have undoubtedly seen the news that Solyndra, a domestic solar panel manufacturer that received a Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee, recently filed for bankruptcy. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), this is not indicative of what’s happening with solar, and some politicians and pundits are using this unfortunate situation as an excuse to heap unwarranted criticism on solar. SEIA is fighting back and is utilizing a variety of resources to actively combat these falsehoods.

According to SEIA, the solar industry employs more than 100,000 Americans, more than twice as many as in 2009. They work at more than 5,000 companies, the vast majority being small businesses, in all 50 states. The U.S. solar industry grew by 69% in the past year, making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. economy.

For more facts about the solar industry, and to send this message out to your friends, visit SEIA’s website.

Featured Alum – Oliver Strube 
Oliver recently founded350 Media, a company which serves clean-tech publishers, bloggers, and marketers of green products and services through innovative advertising solutions and consulting services. Prior to launching this new venture, Oliver in 1998 where he served as Publisher and Director of Development until selling the company to PennWell Publishing in early 2011.