This past March, GRID Alternatives Central Coast, Atascadero office, was honored to host students from North Carolina State University and University of Nevada-Reno for two AMAZING Solar Spring Break weeks! Solar Spring Break gives college students from around the country the opportunity to spend their spring vacation week installing solar in underserved communities. These students give back too! They raise money to participate and GRID CC gives them a week full of authentic, local experiences. The impact of this type of alternative break is indeed noteworthy.
Our office welcomed the teams with a homestyle BBQ where they were able to meet with our great staff and establish significant connections. The next day, they joined our Outreach team and learned about their daily work, Canvassing and Marketing. After a delicious lunch, they departed to their Outreach activity in the City of Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County. They enjoyed staying in a unique place - Thank you to Dancing Deer Farm Retreat Center - where they were able to appreciate the amazing atmosphere that the Central Coast region has to offer. Another activity that the teams were able to participate in was getting to know in more depth the community that was hosting them and the serious work that local organizations are doing. This time we were able to collaborate with One Cool Earth in the City of Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County - their mission involves creating awesome school garden programs that power healthy, happy and smart youth. A special opportunity was given to our second group - University of Nevada - Reno - who were able to visit the Topaz Solar Farm and get to learn the type of work and impact that this large scale project has in the community. Last, but not least, the teams were able to get up on the roof and install PV systems for the Rodriguez and Chavez families. Both teams installed a total of 17.95 kW-DC of solar capacity which is estimated to offset these family’s utility costs by 90%. The clean energy systems that they installed benefit us all, with 349.58 tons of greenhouse gas emissions prevented from entering the environment. That's equivalent to the planting of 8,131 trees!
“First off, thank you so much to you and everyone at GRID for a life-changing experience. We are SO grateful for everything you did for us and everything you do for the community. You all are amazing”.
Chad Kibbe, NCSU SSB 2017 participant
"When I first heard about the Solar Spring Break trip opportunity, I got excited because I thought it would be an opportunity to experience an intersection of service in a relevant electrical engineering practice. But the week was so much more than that. I truly felt like part of the GRID family during the week. I am grateful I got to experience the entire process of helping a family from outreach all the way to finishing an install. Reading about GRID on paper let me appreciate what they do but actually DOING the work opened my eyes to how big an impact GRID has on its families."
Shane Reagan, NCSU SSB 2017 participant