top of page

Join the pioneers of PV on Oct 26-28, 2018 for the First Annual Solar Family Reunion at Catalina State Park in Tucson, AZ. Pioneers old and young are welcome and will be gathering to re-connect with friends. This is a FREE EVENT! Everyone is invited, registration not required.


BYOE - Bring Your Own Everything

Reserve campsites at this link as soon as possible. Our group will be concentrated in the A-loop. 

HOTEL info at this link

For additional information, click here to email me.

Schedule of EVENTS:


  • Organizers check into campground


  • 7:00-9:00 AM Casual coffee hour at Catalina State Park Campsite A-8

  • 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM Social mixer at Catalina State Park campground Loop A. Eat, drink, laugh, visit, meet the pioneers, be safe, and BYOE!

  • 5:30 PM GROUP PHOTO at Campsite A-8


  • 7:00-9:00 AM Casual coffee hour at Catalina State Park Campsite A-8

  • 9:00-11:00 AM Group Hike, meet at Catalina State Park Campsite A-8

  • 3:00-3:30 PM Tour Brad Lancaster’s famous Offgrid Rain Harvesting Urban Homestead. Brad’s house is located at 813 N 9th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705

  • 3:45 PM GROUP PHOTO at Net Zero Solar located at 101 W. 5th Street, Tucson, AZ 85705

  • 4:00-6:00 PM See SOLAR ROOTS at Net Zero Solar

  • 6:15-9:00 PM Afterparty at Net Zero Solar


  • 7:00-9:00 AM Casual coffee hour at Catalina State Park Campsite A-8

  • 9:00-11:00 AM Hike

  • 12:00 Noon Depart for home

Please note, the Solar Family Reunion is a relaxed, semi-organized gathering of our solar family. Our schedule is structured to allow appropriate time and space for attendees to visit with one another in a meaningful way in a beautiful area key to the early development of the PV industry. Tucson's solar roots run deep and I hope you will join us in celebrating the birth of an industry!
Peace and Love
Jeff SolarSpies
Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 4.50.49 PM.png


About the event - by Jeff Spies

In 2015, I organized an event to reunite my "solar family" in a gathering to celebrate the birth of the PV industry and pay tribute to the brilliant men and women that worked for decades to make renewable energy a reality.​ The first "Solar Pioneer Party" took place in October 2015 in Humboldt County and was a huge success. More than 150 people attended, including a who's who of the industry's founders, as well as many of the younger generations of PV professionals. These people all shared a deep respect for the contribution of the pioneers. Words alone cannot describe how magical an experience it was having all those incredible people in one place at the same time.


Never before had so many solar pioneers gathered together for a social event that had no commercial content. I felt that someone should document the stories of these amazing people, and I contacted several industry journalists. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in getting anyone interested in conducting interviews with these amazing industry pioneers. After several attempts and eventual failures, I started to question if their stories would be documented. Not willing to let this opportunity pass by, I convinced my friend and talented videographer/co-worker Jason Vetterli to film interviews with the attendees. Without realizing it, Jason and I were about to undertake a two year project to create the first ever documentary film about how the solar PV industry started.

This first Solar Pioneer Party in Humboldt was so popular, attendees demanded an encore. Working with Backwoods Solar, we organized a second "Solar Pioneer Party" the next year in Grass Valley, CA. Even more of the industry pioneers attended and we all viewed a 20 minute teaser clip of the documentary footage. Everyone loved it!

Our documentary production came to a conclusion in 2017 and in November 2017, we held the "Third and Final Solar Pioneer Party" where we debuted our documentary film "Solar Roots - The Pioneers of PV". It was a huge hit among the three hundred attendees, many who told me the movie was inspirational.


While the Third Solar Pioneer Party was indeed the final Solar Pioneer Party, we have decided to continue the effort to unite our solar family once a year in an event called The Solar Family Reunion. The Solar Family Reunion will bring together pioneers and solar industry professionals to honor the contributions of the pioneers of the PV industry and build and grow our solar family.


I hope you can join us for this unique non-commercial event, pay tribute to the pioneers of the industry, and connect with the next generation of passionate solar professionals that make up our wonderful solar family.

We will be showing Solar Roots at the First Annual Solar Family Reunion. I hope you can join us.  :-)

Sincerely, Jeff S.

History behind the event
bottom of page