Courses FAQ

To view and register upcoming courses hover your mouse over to the Courses tab & click on a selection under the Course Categories. Other ways to view courses include:

  • by Category then click on a category to view the courses offered.
  • by Location then click on a location to vewi the courses offered.
  • by Instructor then click on a photo to read more about that instructor and what courses they are scheduled to teach.
  • by Date To view courses taught in the current month locate a green icon and hover the mouse over it for brief details or click on the icon for more details.

Register by phone

To register by mail print out this form, fill in and mail along with your check or credit card information to address below. We send confirmations by email only; if you do not have access to email, please call (707) 472-2468 & request your confirmation details over the phone.

Solar Living Institute - Attn: Registration
PO Box 836
Hopland, CA 95449

Yes, graduates of our Online Design & Installation course are qualified to take the optional NABCEP Photovoltaic Associate Exam.  The Solar Living Institute offers the paper and pencil version 3 times a year.  Computer-based testing is available year-round at your convenience from Castle Worldwide Testing Centers.  Once you have completed the course and have received your Certificate Of Completion, you can then register for the Paper and Pencil test in Hopland ($189), or register through SLI to take the test at a Castle Worldwide Testing Center ($150).  Fill out the paperwork email it in. 

Please contact Karen Kallen at 707-472-2465 or by email. For information about custom programs we have done, see Custom Training.

Qualifying unemployed individuals may be able to get assistance from their local EDD. Qualifying veterans may be able to get assistance from the Veteran's Administration office.

If you receive our eNewsletter, we frequently offer discount coupons that are good for most of our course offerings. To sign up for our eNewsletter click on the Green Newsletter bar at the top of the home page.

The nearest major airports are San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland.

For accommodations near the Solar Living Center, go to Accommodations.

For accommodations near other course locations, please check your course confirmation email if you've already registered, or use this link to view a listing of our course locations. After clicking on a particular location you will see the Directions & Parking as well as the Accomodations and Dining areas and can click on the More buttons to view the specifics.

Refer to your course confirmation email for the course's starting and ending times.

Arrive at your course location at least 10 minutes before the beginning of class to give yourself time to get oriented, check-in, and get settled in.

For directions to the Solar Living Center in Hopland, go to Directions.

For directions to other course locations, please check your confirmation email if you've already registered, or use this link to view a listing of our course locations. After clicking on a particular location you will see the Directions & Parking area and can click on the More button to view the specifics.

We can provide a Certificate of Completion for any of our courses, upon request, signed by our Workshop Director and include your training time.

Our PV200 and PV300 and Online PV Design & Installation courses are Accredited Training Programs through the Institute for Sustainable Power Quality and we are Approved NABCEP Providers to administer the Entry Level Exam upon successful completion of these couses.

Entry Level Program: Our PV 200 Design & Installation course & our Online PV Design & Installation eCourse prepares one for taking the Entry Level Exam. Our PV 200 course is an instructional program that stresses basic concepts and specific skill sets that underlie photovoltaic system applications. Participants receive a Certificate of Completion after completing our PV200 course & this qualifies them for registering for the Entry Level Exam. Successful Entry Level PV test takers will be presented with a suitable-for-framing Passing Score Achievement document. The document clearly articulates that the recipient has demonstrated their basic knowledge of the principals of the application, design, installation and operation of off-grid and grid-tie solar electric systems.

NABCEP's Solar PV Installer Certification is a high-level credential based on proven installation experience, an extensive application process, and successfully passing a rigorous written examination which is given 2 times a year by NABCEP. It verifies that the certificant has met predetermined and standardized criteria. It is a mark of excellence for the PV practitioner and it becomes a way for consumers to differentiate among vendors. Our PV 300 Advanced Systems course satisfies the coursework hours required to sit for the NABCEP Solar PV Installer Certification Exam, however, there are additional requirements that are necessary. For more information about the Solar PV Installer Certification, how to apply & the requirements.

If you are interested in eventually making a career out of solar installation, a NABCEP Solar PV Installer Certification makes one stand out in a crowd of installers and is the only standard in the industry today

You can if you meet one of the following prerequisites:

  • Possession of a document showing passage of the Entry Level Exam issued by NABCEP.
  • 2 Years of design, installation, or related experience with proper documentation
  • Permission of the Instructor

If you have a question about which photovoltaics class is right for you, read the information below. If you still have questions, give us a call at 707-472-2450, press # for workshop questions and we'll be happy to assist you in course selection.

If you are a beginning PV person, homeowner, or general public looking for an introduction to solar:
  • PV100 Introduction to Solar Photovoltaics, followed by PV 201 Hands-On Practicum
  • For more on off-grid, proceed with PV 190 then 290
  • For immersion, PV 200 Design & Installation Intensive 5 days in class or the Online Design & Installation course

If you are an electrician, electrical contractor, or serious PV career seeker looking to get into the PV industry:

  • For immersion, PV 200 Design & Installation Intensive 5 days in class or the Online Design & Installation course
  • For more hands-on beyond what's offered in PV 200, take PV 201 Hands-on Practicum.
  • For more immersion, take the PV 300 after the PV 200 or the Online Design & Installation course
  • For those interested in off-grid applications PV190 then 290

If you have experience with PV installations and are looking to prepare for the NABCEP Solar PV Installer Certification exam:

  • PV 300 Advanced PV Systems, 5 days

NOTE: Prerequisites are strictly enforced. (Completing our PV 200 or a document showing passage of the Entry Level Exam, or 2 years working in PV with documented experience, or permission of the instructor)

If a course needs to be cancelled by SLI for any reason, we will give you as much advance notice as possible. We will issue you either a full refund or issue "escrow" on account towards a future course that can be used within 1 year.

If a course is sold out, you can add your name to a waiting list and you will be contacted should a space become available. Please call (707) 472-2450, and press # (for workshops questions) to request to be on a wait list.

Courses that are sold out will display online as 'Sold Out.' If the 'Add to Basket' button is active on the course page , then there is still room in that course.

Cancellations and rescheduling are acceptable under the following conditions:

Online Courses Only: Refunds, less a $40 processing fee, can be requested for up to (3) days following purchase assuming modules have been reviewed but not completed.

Workshops (not online): Up to 2 weeks before course start date, cancellations or modifications (eg, transferring to another course) will be charged an administrative fee of $40. Within 2 weeks of course start date, cancellations are non-refundable.

Please plan accordingly.

You will receive an email confirmation after registration that includes directions & parking information. If for some reason you do not receive an email confirmation you can request one by calling (707) 472-2468.

If you cannot locate your email confirmation then locate the course purchased on our website and click on the Show Venue Details button.

The purchaser will receive an eCommerce receipt showing which course(s) were paid for on the day of registration. Separate confirmation(s) of registration will be sent by email for each registered student & will include location details, directions, parking, nearby accommodations, and other relevant information specific to your course within 5 working days of signing up. If you did not receive an email confirmation or eCommerce receipt please call (707) 472-2468 & we will assist you.
All payments must be made in full at the time of registration. To hold a seat, we require advance registration by credit card or by mailing a check (see above question).

To learn more, go to Resource Links for an extensive list of websites.


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 20 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

NABCEP Registered Provider Photovoltaic Associate.small Logo-ASES-Chapter IREC Solar Training