Issue 94 - February 2011
PV Lab Week
In This Issue
SEI's 20th Anniversary
Upcoming SEI Workshops
Solar Thermal Certification
PV - Cheaper than Gas in California
NABCEP Criteria for Wind Installers
Impacts of Food Waste
Featured Alum - Mariana Moncada
Upcoming Events

Free Course

Featured Workshop

Renewable Energy for the Developing World - Hands-on
 March 12 - 21
Costa Rica


Upcoming Hands-on Workshops

Solar Electric Design & Installation (Grid-Direct)
Feb. 21 - 26 -- Tucson, AZ
Mar. 14 - 18 -- Rocklin, CA
Mar. 14-18 -- Fayetteville, AR
Mar. 28 - Apr. 2 -- Guemes Island, WA
Apr 4 - 8 -- Salt Lake City, UT

Grid Direct Design & the NEC
Apr 11 - 15 -- Salt Lake City, UT

Upcoming International workshops
Upcoming Online Courses

April 18 - May 29


SEI thanks our new business members:

Solar Energy International has a strong community presence on social networks. Please consider joining these SEI groups:

Find us on Facebook        View our profile on LinkedIn
Follow us on Twitter      Visit our YouTube Channel

Your Generosity Ensure our Success!

SEI's members are the heart of our organization and allow us to continue our educational programs.

Please join us! Membership benefits include (depending on membership level) discounts on workshops and a one year subscription to Home Power magazine.

Click here for details on how to become an SEI member.
 SEI's 20th Anniversary - Share Your Story!
SEI_20th_AnniversaryThis year, Solar Energy International celebrates our 20th year as leaders in solar training and renewable energy education. We'll be posting photos from 20 years of training throughout the year on our official Facebook page.

We would also like to hear from you. Create a short 2 - 3 minute video about how you've been impacted by SEI. Tell us about a fond memory from your time with us, or about relationships you've developed or ideas you've learned and applied. We'd love to hear how SEI helped you create value in your organization or life. The main thing is that we want to hear your SEI story!

The videos will be featured on our YouTube channel and during our 20th Anniversary community celebration. Receive a free SEI 20th Anniversary T-shirt with your video submission!

Download the instructions on submitting your video to SEI, and stay tuned for information on our Anniversary celebration, August 13th in Carbondale, CO.

Upcoming SEI Workshops Around the States
For those of you looking for PV training, SEI has some great opportunities coming up in California, Utah, Arkansas, Arizona and Washington. 
If you'd like to be a bit more adventurous and learn about renewables in other parts of the world, check out these amazing opportunities:

 Solar Thermal Certification
Carl Bickford

NABCEP recently released their Entry Level Solar Thermal Learning Objectives and an exam blueprint for its new Solar Thermal Entry Level Knowledge Assessment program. The Learning Objectives, which were developed by a volunteer committee of Solar Thermal Industry practitioners and educators, are focused on ensuring that students will be able to demonstrate fundamental Solar Thermal knowledge.  


SEI's two upcoming Solar Hot Water workshops allow someone to sit for this test once it is released in late Spring 2011.

  • Guemes Island, WA -- April 11-15
    Taught by veteran Solar Thermal Installers, Chuck Marken, who is Home Power and Solar Pro's Thermal Editor, and Tim Dawson, an experienced installer from Oregon.  
  • Carbondale, CO -- May 16-20
    Taught by Carl Bickford, professor of engineering at San Juan College in New Mexico (in photo above).


PV Becoming Cheaper than Gas in California?
Solar in California
We hear it every day: "Solar is too expensive." Well, not according to the California utility Southern California Edison. In a recent filing to the state's Public Utilities Commission, SCE asked for approval of 20 solar PV projects worth 250 MW - all of which are expected to generate a total of 567 GWh of electricity for less than the price of natural gas.

The utility reports that all winning solar developers issued bids for contracts below the Market Price Referent, which is the estimated cost of electricity from a 500-MW combined-cycle natural gas plant. This means that a large number of PV project developers believe they can deliver solar electricity at a very competitive price. And these aren't mega-projects either. All of the installations will be between 4.7 MW and 20 MW - a sweet spot for PV projects.

Read the entire article at

NABCEP Revises Eligibility Criteria for Small Wind Installer
NABCEP wind installer The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) has revised the eligibility criteria for their Small Wind Installer Certification. The new criteria allows for a wider range of wind practitioners to take the exam and achieve the certification.

Mick Sagrillo, the Chairperson of NABCEP's Small Wind Technical Committee, says, "The basic principal in changing the criteria is inclusion. The current standards are aimed at installers who have experience in all aspects of small wind installations -- tilt-up, crane assisted, and towers over 80 feet. With strong input from small wind industry stakeholders, we learned that many highly qualified and well-trained individuals were excluded from the exam because of the type of installation they commonly perform -- which in many cases is governed by local geography, codes, or zoning standards."

For more information and to see the complete list of eligibility requirements for the Small Wind Installer Certification Exam visit

Interested in learning more about wind power?  Check out SEI's Wind Power workshop coming up in May:

Environmental Impacts of Food Waste
Food waste SEI's International Program Director, Laurie Guevara-Stone, recently interviewed with Good Dirt Radio for a story on food waste. Good Dirt Radio is a nonprofit media outlet in Colorado featuring a solar-powered radio studio, whose mission is to educate the public about the connection between individual actions and a healthy future for our planet and encourage citizens to embrace positive solutions.

The story focuses on today's "spin-saturated, disposable, consumer America where almost all material goods made in the past 100 plus years have ended up in landfills, including a majority of food waste."

Listen to a podcast of the Good Dirt Radio interview here (1.8MB MP3)

  Featured Alum - Mariana Moncada
Mariana MoncadaMariana started a blog called Sunnynation.  Sunnynation covers topics on solar energy in emerging nations. It serves as a resource for organizations, activities and products, and connects non-profits and volunteers on solar projects.  People can also subscribe to Sunnynation's RSS feed to be kept up to date on solar projects and issues in developing countries around the world.

Upcoming Events 

Biodiesel Intensive Workshop & Sustainable Biodiesel Summit
March 2 - 5, Pittsboro, NC 

Followed by a Mardi Gras carnival!  Sponsored by the Abundance Foundation and Piedmont Biofuels.  



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