Come live and learn at the Solar Living Institute!

The Solar Living Institute’s Internship Program is a residential leadership program that offers a guided personalized experiential education in sustainable living and skill building.  Interns learn, live, and work on the grounds of the Solar Living Center in Hopland, California.  Now in its 20th year, the Internship Program has graduated over 200 young adults who have gone on to work in the fields of renewable energy, environmental education, sustainable agriculture, and social entrepreneurship.

Interns are expected to have a strong work ethic, ability to take initiative and follow through with agreements, good communication skills, and a flexibility in working and living with others.

Internship Dates

Intern training with Grid AlternativesJanuary 15 - June 15 or August 31

June 1-August 31/Dec 15

Sept 1-Dec 15

2017 Application Deadlines

  • For January Start: November 15, 2016

  • For June Start:  April 15, 2017

  • For September start:  July 15, 2017


Program Details

Over the course of their internship, interns are expected to participate in a work/trade agreement for a total of 40 hours per week.  Duties include leading general site tours, participating in eco-educational tours for school children, preparing the Tiny House Airbnb for guests, and assisting staff with managing workshops, special events, and our organic produce stand. Interns share responsibilities in routine upkeep of the intern village, the organic gardens, permaculture projects, and building community for the duration of the internship.  

Interns participate in solar PV training workshops, sustainable living courses, live onsite in simple, rustic accommodation, eat organic produce grown in the organic gardens and fresh eggs from our chickens, have opportunities to network at special events/meetings/conferences/festivals, a Real Goods store discount, and the benefits of being part of the Solar Living Institute family.


Living In Community

Interns live together onsite in our intern village.  The village has a large communal living space (30-foot diameter yurt) equipped with cooking and dining facilities, lounge area, library, and wireless internet access.  The village also has both indoor and outdoor mosaic cob showers, an outdoor wood-fired earth oven, seating area, fire pit and chicken coop.  Interns living in the village participate in and assist with cooking, cleaning, and other chores as necessary.  Guidelines for communal living are provided, however it is each intern's responsibility to actively engage in creating a rewarding intern community life.


As an intern living in community, you will also:

  • Live cooperatively and respectfully with each other during your time at the Institute.

  • Participate in democratic or consensus decision-making and conflict resolution within the intern group.  Open, mature and positive communication is expected.


If desired, interns may camp on-site during their internship, providing their own tent and sleeping supplies and may also choose to live off-site.  All interns are responsible for their own transportation needs.

Intern Program Field Trips

There are a number of scheduled field trips, highlighting other sustainable organizations in the Mendocino County vicinity, (subject to change based on availability and unforeseen scheduling conflicts).


The internship cost is $250 per month.  This covers meals, lodging, classes, field trips, and guided mentorship.



How to Apply

Now accepting FALL/WINTER 2016 applicants! If you are interested in applying for this opportunity, please submit the following documents:

  • Cover letter
  • Current resume
  • Details of 3 references
  • Available dates

The fall internship runs from time of acceptance until December 2016 at the minimum.  Applications and/or questions regarding the intern program can be submitted via email to adam.goldberg@solarliving.org - we look forward to hearing from you!

 We ask that interns be ever mindful of the site as a destination open to the general public during daylight hours and welcome visitors accordingly, paying attention to safety, presentation and attitude.


The Solar Living Institute is a 501 (c)(3) educational nonprofit organization offering instruction in solar training and sustainable practices.  Founded in 1998, we have been providing professional solar training and a wide array of sustainability courses for over 15 years. Our courses are taught by experienced practitioners who bring years of real world knowledge to the classroom with a focus on helping students prepare for job opportunities, start businesses, and live more sustainably.

ACCREDITED BY IREC - Registered Provider of NABCEP

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