Wednesday, August 17, 2011

PV206: Solar Business & Technical Sales

PV206 Solar Business and Technical Sales is an excellent companion training opportunity to be taken with or after any of SEI's PV technical training. This workshop is a perfect fit for those currently working in the solar industry or hoping to work in solar sales to comprehensively cover business and financial topics not covered in our technical training. The class has been developed from the ground up with a strong focus on business / financial principals and non-technical topics directly aligned with the NABCEP PV Technical Sales task analysis.

Through insightful instruction from working experts in the field, SEI’s PV206 workshop covers marketing and sales techniques you will need to be successful in the solar biz. Concepts discussed in detail include customer qualification, marketing strategies, creating conceptual design proposals, system costing, incentives and rebates, cost-benefit analysis, financing options, and the non-financial benefits of photovoltaic systems.

Presentations from active experts in the solar marketing & sales industry from various companies across the nation provided in-depth practical & comprehensive information about real-life situations & circumstances in the solar business field. Lectures were personal & thought-provoking, & students received valuable insider knowledge from experienced & seasoned professionals, & had a good time doin' it!

We had a well-rounded class, with an eclectic mix of solar professionals. The course was dominated by our 3 main instructors, & peppered with a variety of local & national industry moguls.

Or fun-lovin' solar instructors; Andy Black, Jeff Spies & Liz Merry.

Andy Black of OnGrid Solar directed the first 2 days of the workshop with detailed instruction on industry standards, effective sales strategies & solar marketing tactics.

Jeff Spies, of SolarSpies Training & Consulting Services in Arizona, took control of Day #3 with more sales & marketing gems.

Liz Merry was our class director & kept things going in an orderly & mixed-up fashion.

SEI's Kris Sutton came in to give us the what's-what on OSHA guidelines & the importance of safety certifications.

We were even graced by a visit from SEI's Executive Director, who is an impressive public speaker & got us thinking about the future of solar energy & what it will mean for the good ole USA.

A powerful image.

I love this table.

And after 4.5 days on our butts in a classroom, a field trip to see the array @ the Colorado Rocky Mountain School, installed by Carbondale's own SunSense Solar, was a welcome change of pace.

An example of an 'anti-theft' nut that requires a special tool... you'd be surprised at how often panels are stolen from solar sites!

Only a fraction of the huge array that powers the Colorado Rocky Mountain School.


Thanks everyone for a fun & valuable class!

Friday, August 12, 2011

SEI's 20th Anniversary Party

For 20 years, Solar Energy International has been dedicated to hands-on and online solar training and renewable energy education in wind, micro-hydro, sustainable building and developing world technologies. Solar Energy International also works with grassroots and development organizations to promote sustainability and improve quality of life worldwide through viable outreach programs.

So where were you in 1991? Solar Energy International was just getting started teaching the world about renewable energy technologies. In celebration, SEI's co-founder and executive director Johnny Weiss, the SEI Board, and SEI Staff will host a fun, family-friendly old-fashioned BBQ potluck at Third St. Center in Carbondale, CO, the funky mountain town where SEI was founded 20 years ago.

The festivities centered around a free country-style BBQ, 1-4 p.m., outside of SEI's new workshop location at Third St. Center in Carbondale, featuring burgers, hot dogs, picnic fare, Revolution Brewery suds, lemonade, face painting, hula hooping, volleyball, hackey sack, live music by Carbondale's own All the Pretty Horses, solar cooking demos, and all-around fun for the whole family.

Here's a little recap of the fun:

Fresh local meat & vegetarian delights served up by SEI's master barbeque-ers.

Supplemented by a variety of solar cooked treats.

Beer, wine, lemonade & some pretty darn good mojitos were on the drink list.

Al served in SEI-labeled mugs for party-goers to take home.

Instructor Andy Black even shucked up some oysters brought fresh from PEI.

Thank goodness for the huge tent that provided shade from the sun to happy partiers.

And the festivities abounded on this gorgeous Colorado summer day... the form of face painting...


Creative crafts for kiddies...


Solar Powered Bubbles...


Not to mention the awesome local band All The Pretty Horses that played throughout the day.

And it would hardly be a work party without a word from some of SEI's most influential players.

Attentive guests paying homage to the wonder that is SEI.

I think it's safe to say a good time was had by all, since the party continued well into the night.!

Good job SEI ~ I was glad to be a part of your special day : )

Thursday, August 11, 2011

ESI Distributes Fuel-Efficient Stoves in Liberia

Empowerment Society International (ESI) is a nonprofit dedicated to bringing sustainable development innovations and knowledge to sub-Saharan Africa. ESI’s motto is to “Build a Sustainable World, One Individual at a Time…” Their mission is to empower individuals by promoting sustainable development in their communities, founded to empower the children of sub-Saharan Africa affected by war and conflict, and to treat, prevent, and manage aids and other diseases, to combat illiteracy, and defeat poverty.

ESI recently distributed over 1,000 Envirofit clean cookstoves to 60 Liberian families and refugees from Cote D’Ivoire throughout Liberia, 60 of which were granted or subsidized to families or refugees. Additional financing will allow them to introduce new technologies into rural communities (1) decreasing indoor air quality dangers and improving health, (2) decreasing deforestation by requiring women to collect less wood for cooking and heating, (3) decreasing the invisible costs women and children face in cooking and preparation labor, and (4) reducing rural poverty by participating in Envirofit’s carbon emission reduction revenue sharing scheme.

ESI is a small nonprofit run by a dedicated team of people committed to helping those in need in developing areas. Need an environmental org. to support, follow or promote? Look no further!

Read more about ESI & their projects in Sub Saharan Africa here.