2024 KCP Application
Solar Energy International
Customers & Partnerships
Primary Project Category:
Project Summary / Description:
Our organization was created by some of the solar industry‚ earliest pioneers in the mountains of Western Colorado. The solar industry started largely as a niche market for those living off-grid, but the technology became increasingly viable throughout the 1980s. With the new spotlight on the threat of climate change and the rise of renewable energy, it became clear that there was a need in the industry for high-quality technical training. Our programs were designed to not only ensure the fast-growing workforce was installing and designing systems safely but to also teach future generations about the importance of renewable energy as part of the 21st-century energy landscape.
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Best Estimate of GHG Avoidance/Reduction of This Project (Tonnes CO2 Equivalent/Year):
Impact on Underrepresented Groups:
SEI‚ policy applies to all terms, conditions, and privileges of employment and provides equal employment opportunity regardless of race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, national origin, pregnancy, disability, military status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices, including harassment. Our working culture brings more women to 'trades' than typical industry stats., including several female PV instructors, industry authors, and curriculum designers. Sarah Wilder, Director of PV Curriculum Development, and Rebekah Wren who helps lead code development and compliance with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners are great examples of female leadership within their male-dominated field. As an organization, we have set a goal to have at least one female instructor teaching in every SEI course by 2020. As far as economic diversity, SEI operates a Scholarship Fund from which we award tuition assistance to those in financial need, from any country, and who are often underemployed or unemployed and in search of a new and meaningful career. We also disperse scholarships through memorial funds--for women via the Heather Andrews Scholarship, for developing world citizens via the Johnny Weiss Scholarship, the Live It Like Austin Scholarship, and working with Veterans and Active Military personnel education funds. As a mission-driven organization, we responded to the economic downturn following the collapse of regional coal mines in our hometown of Western Colorado. SEI started their Economic Revitalization Through Solar efforts in 2015. These efforts have launched three Solarize programs, created a high school trade-training program Solar in Schools, advanced the passage of C-PACE, and was awarded a bronze designation through the Department of Energy‚ SolSmart program recognizing solar positive communities-- cumulatively resulting in $1.5 million invested locally in our community and 10 new jobs created over three years.
Research or Economic Modeling
Measurement, Reporting & Validation
Solar Energy International envisions a world powered by renewable energy. We provide industry-leading technical training in solar and micro-hydro to create the renewable energy workforce of the future. We've trained 65,000 individuals since our inception in 1991.