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. Through our 100 solar installations, GRID has installed 205 kW of solar generation capacity in Maryland, Virginia, and DC. This translates to $1,646,189 in savings for homeowners, 8,245 greenhouse gas emissions prevented, and 470 volunteers trained with invaluable solar installation skills.
Our 100th solar installation is the result of a pilot project in Baltimore, MD bringing solar to 31 low-income homeowners of the Morgan Mile Community in partnership with U.S. Department of Energy, Morgan State University, The City of Baltimore, and Civic Works. The 3.9 kW system is estimated to save the homeowner, Mrs. Barksdale, $700 on electric bills a year. Three Civic Works job trainees and two first-time volunteers joined GRID staff on site to provide solar for the Barksdale family. Tyler, a first-time volunteer, heard about GRID Alternatives from the Solar Focus Job Fair. He currently works three part-time jobs and is looking to get a full-time job. “I figured this would be a great opportunity to get some experience and possibly get a job in the future,” said Tyler.
GRID’s major milestone represents our many accomplishments this year. In 2016, we began installing on our first multi-family low-income housing project, extending our services to benefit low-income tenants. We co-hosted our first job fair with MDV-SEIA, bringing together 300 job seekers with over 20 employers seeking to fill a variety of solar positions, making it GRID Alternatives' largest job fair to date. We also hosted our first Troops to Solar build, bringing the benefits of job training to veterans and active duty military, while partnering with HeroHomes to provide a solar system on a brand new home for a retired helicopter pilot.
For six weeks over the summer, we trained local youth through the Department of Energy and the Environment’s Green Zone Environmental Program, and hired three of them to join our GRID team. We also hosted the millionth solar installation in the United States, hosted the DC Renewable Portfolio Standard signing, commenced the White House Energy Summit at a Morgan Community Mile GRID solar installation, and hosted the signing of an agreement by the City of Baltimore, Maryland Clean Energy Center, and US Department of Energy to find solar financing solutions for low-income residents in Baltimore.
In 2017, GRID will continue to bring the benefits of solar to homeowners and tenants in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. We plan to install between 500kW and 1MW of solar and job train 150 individuals in solar installation skills. We look forward to further our positive impact on people, the planet, and employment.