SolarCorps takes over the Solar Living Institute!

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January 01, 2013

Nov. 26-30 GRID Alternatives sent 23 SolarCorps members to the Solar Living Institute in Hopland, CA for a packed week of team-building and solar education. Shirley Moore, SolarCorps Development and Admin Associate at the time, writes about her experience.

Last week 23 GRID Alternatives SolarCorps members made their way to the Solar Living Institute for a week-long solar PV course. When I arrived on Sunday, I found that I would be staying in a small hut with 3 beds. A quick survey of the rest of the housing revealed a tiny tin hut (complete with shower and kitchen), a Teepee, a dome-shaped greenhouse, a tin and straw bale hut, and two yurts-I could tell that after the week was up, we’d all be a lot more familiar with each other! The Solar Living Institute welcomed us into the intern housing and gave us full run of the showers, kitchen, and grounds.

Monday we dove head first into our five-day intensive class. It was supposed to rain the second half of the week, so our teacher, Doug, didn’t waste any time getting into the details of off-grid and grid-tied solar. He had to get us ready for Thursday’s hands-on day quickly, as it had been bumped up to Tuesday because of the rain. We got a tour of their commercial system, installed a small direct grid-tied system, and got to poke around some of their off-grid demos (that is, of course, between late night bowling in town and communal vegetarian spaghetti cooking!)

The week whizzed by, full of fast-paced lectures, hands-on activities between downpours, and lots of bonding with other SolarCorps members from offices all over the state. We learned so much and I had a great time connecting with my teammates all around the state!