Thank You, Wells Fargo!

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January 04, 2017

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Wells Fargo volunteers celebrated with a homeowner during the launch of GRID Alternatives Colorado in 2012.

In the fall of 2012, thirty Wells Fargo employees sporting red volunteer shirts descended on a small Habitat for Humanity community in Lakeview, Colorado, and got to work with GRID Alternatives installing solar on the rooftops of four homes. Wells Fargo’s California-based employees had been volunteering with GRID for years, but for these volunteers, it was a first. Thanks to a five-year, $2 million national expansion grant their company awarded to GRID earlier that year, GRID was doing its very first out-of-state projects, and the Colorado volunteers were thrilled to be the first ones out on the roof in their home state. Fast forward to 2017, and GRID is operating in ten states, tribal communities nationally, and in Nicaragua and Nepal, and pioneering new models for delivering solar to underserved communities across the globe.

Wells Fargo volunteers carry a solar module to an Asbury Park, NJ home during the launch of the New York Tri-State office in 2013.
Wells Fargo’s support for GRID spans from employee volunteerism, to workforce development support in California, to support for GRID’s Troops to Solar program. But nowhere has its support had more impact than in our expansion efforts. That 2012 grant kick-started growth that not only took GRID outside of our geographic borders, but pushed us to innovate as we adapted our work to different social, economic and policy environments. In Colorado, for example, Wells Fargo volunteers looked on in October 2016 as Governor Hickenlooper hailed the state’s first rooftop low-income community solar array, which will serve renters and homeowners in Fort Collins. It is one of several community solar models GRID is now piloting in partnership with the state, meeting a need that wasn’t being filled by GRID’s traditional single-family model. In Washington, D.C., where Wells Fargo volunteers and support helped launch our presence in 2014, we are partnering with a multifamily housing provider to pair energy efficiency with solar to bring needed energy cost savings to tenants. And in New York, we have developed a three-way nonprofit partnership to expand opportunities for multifamily affordable housing owners to save money with solar.

Volunteers install a panel on a home in the Ivy City neighborhood of Washington, D.C. helping to launch GRID's work in the Mid-Atlantic region in fall 2014.
Volunteers lay a panel on a home in the Ivy City neighborhood of Washington, D.C. helping to launch GRID's work in the Mid-Atlantic region in fall 2014.
None of this work would have been possible without the seed support Wells Fargo provided to get GRID off the ground in Colorado, the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic. So as we look forward to all the exciting projects ahead of us in 2017, we also want to look back on how far we’ve come and say thank you to a company that believed in us, and continues to work by our side. Thank you!

Jan 2017 update: We're excited to work with Wells Fargo for another four years under a renewed philanthropic partnership! The $2 million grant will continue to seed our national expansion efforts, in addition to supporting innovative low-income solar business models country and an expansion of our existing Solar Spring Break program.

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