Solar Living Institute

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 836
Hopland, CA 95449

Physical Address
13771 S. Hwy 101
Hopland, CA 95449

Phone: 707-472-2460

Email: sli@solarliving.org

The Solar Living Institute (SLI) was formed as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization by Real Goods founder John Schaeffer in 1996, and offers classes in sustainable living and renewable energy.

The Solar Living Center (SLC) is a 12-acre sustainable living demonstration site that is home to the Solar Living Institute (707-472-2450) and the Real Goods Store (707-472-2403). The Solar Living Center is the #1 tourist destination in Northern California, and has hosted 3 million visitors since it opened. The SLC sees nearly 200,000 visitors each year. SLI manages the SLC.

Real Goods Solar, Inc. (RealGoodsSolar.com), along with its commercial and utility division RGS Energy (RGSEnergy.com), is a leading renewable energy provider, having installed over 13,000 solar power systems for homes, schools, businesses and municipalities. From the first public sale of a solar panel in 1978 to multi-megawatt installations, Real Goods Solar is the oldest and one of the largest solar EPC companies in the country, and operates out of 15 offices in California, Colorado and the Northeastern United States. To learn about custom solar energy solutions for you or your organization, or to schedule a free site visit, call 888-56-SOLAR.


No, as a non-profit organization, our educational programs and outreach efforts are funded entirely by our programs and by contributions from our donors and members. Without your support, we wouldn't be able to achieve our vital educational mission.

There are many ways you can support our educational mission. Learn more...

The Solar Living Center is open seven days a week, every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.  Hours are 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

For directions, go to Visiting Us: Directions.

You can pick up a self-guided tour brochure any time you visit the site. We also offer intern-guided tours of the site every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 3pm from March through November. A $3 donation per person is suggested and greatly appreciated.

If you would like to arrange a custom tour for your school or community group, or a professional level tour for your business or college class, we would be happy to arrange it. There is a charge for these tours. For complete information on our tour program, go to Visit Us: Tours.

The Solar Living Institute (SLI) appreciates and thrives on the support of individuals like you! The programs of SLI, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, are funded by its constituents--people who believe in our mission and who want to help us make a difference for the environment. Your annual donation helps us to realize our goals of providing renewable energy and sustainable living education to school groups, young adults in the internship program, mature adults seeking a career change, and the general public when visiting our 12-acre demonstration site.  Your tax-deductible donation will ensure that the Solar Living Institute continues to grow and thrive in the coming year and beyond

By becoming an annual member or donor of SLI you help us financially meet our annual goals and by volunteering you give valuable time and effort in support of our projects and special events.  We appreciate all our supporters!

We're always interested in hearing from hard-working, enthusiastic individuals. For a list of current job openings, go to Contact Us: Employment.  We are also always looking for volunteers to help us with on-site projects and our vital educational mission. 

Absolutely! Volunteers are involved in virtually every aspect of our work. Examples of recent activities include: landscaping, organic gardening, assisting with workshops, web and IT work, building new structures on the site, and helping out with special events, like Earthday or Moondance. For more information about volunteering SLI, visit Support Us: Volunteer Opportunities.

Absolutely! Many graduates of our workshop program have gone on to satisfying and financially rewarding careers in green building, solar energy, and a host of other related fields. To review and register for upcoming courses, go to our Course List.

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

Our workshops are designed for participants that include college students, young professionals, mid-career professionals, and retirees. Youth are admitted to workshops on a case-by-case basis. If you are under 18, please call the office at 707-472-2468.

We welcome inquiries from the media and are happy to arrange photogenic site vists, and content-rich interviews.

For more information, call  (707) 472-2450 or email sli@solarliving.org.


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

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