Champagne, gifts, flowers, and party favors - that’s how most people picture a bridal shower. Instead, Leslie imagined hardhats, harnesses, ladders, and power tools. Leslie and her bridesmaids participated in GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic’s new Solar Champions program, raising money for GRID to install a solar system that will save a DC homeowner approximately $700 a year, and prevent about 100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.
After opening our doors in January 2015, GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic has come a long way! On December 20th 2016, we wrapped up the year by installing our 100th solar system in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Meet Dominic and Keon, new GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic construction employees. Their very first introduction to solar was this summer, through a job training program. “If you asked me and Dom the first day, ‘give me the bandsaw,’ I’d be like ‘what? Is that an instrument or something?’” said Keon.
“I am happy that I was selected for this,” said Ms. Williams, beaming, “I’m elated!” Ms. Williams just received 14 solar panels on the roof of her house. The 3.43 kW system will save her an estimated $17,000 on her electric bill during the systems’ lifetime.
“There are endless possibilities with solar careers,” said Andrea Luecke with the Solar Foundation, “sales, finance, permitting, policy, web development, market research, project development, installation…..” The list goes on and on. Job fair attendees discovered this when they attended the Solar Focus Job Fair on November 17th, at the Downtown Renaissance Hotel in Washington DC.
On Saturday, WGL volunteers joined GRID Alternatives in Southeast DC to install solar for our first multifamily project in the Mid-Atlantic. The WGL volunteers were participating as part of the annual “WGL Day of Weatherization,” which involved 215 WGL employees weatherizing 105 homes in West Virginia, Maryland, DC, and Virginia.
The number one GRID volunteer stopped by our office last week. Well, all of our GRID volunteers are number one in our minds, but Michael Johnson-Chase is a remarkable, determined GRID Alternatives volunteer. For the past six months, Michael has been biking to each of the GRID regional offices, riding between 60 to 100 miles a day. He has been biking with the Climate Ride Independent Cycling Challenge to raise money for GRID.
GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic recently hosted its first Troops to Solar build in Virginia! GRID Alternatives and HeroHomes teamed up to save money for a veteran family with equipment and system design donated by Standard Solar. The installation was completed by veteran and active duty military job trainees, as part of GRID’s Troops to Solar initiative, supported by Wells Fargo.
While installation tends to be the most visible type of solar job, the industry has opportunities in a multitude of sectors suited for individuals with varying backgrounds - even those who don't want to get on the roof! Solar jobs can be in sales, project management, financing, and many other departments.
Two weeks ago, GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic welcomed four new GRID employees to the team! The new hires are part of GRID’s SolarCorps program, the result of GRID’s partnership with AmeriCorps. Three new SolarCorps Construction Fellows and one new SolarCorps Volunteer Fellow are now part of our Mid-Atlantic family!