News from the Field
Five years ago, Rosana Francescato found herself on a construction site surrounded by unfamiliar tools, gleaming solar panels, and countless GRID-tee-shirt-clad volunteers. She landed there after hearing GRID co-founder and CEO Erica Mackie speak at a green networking event about the upcoming Bay Area Solarthon, GRID's signature fundraiser and solar 'block party.' Eager to get out of the office and experience solar first-hand, Rosana signed herself up.
Last week, GRID kicked off our Solar Futures initiative, a national partnership with SunPower that provides classroom and hands-on solar education to K-14 students, helping inspire and prepare them for careers in the growing solar industry.
This Veterans Day, GRID Alternatives announced our national Troops to Solar initiative to connect veterans to solar jobs by providing hands-on training to 1000 U.S. military veterans and active service members across the country. The initiative, supported by a 3-year, $750,000 grant from Wells Fargo, builds on the job training work we have have been doing with veterans at across the country.
In October of 2015 The Spokane Indian Housing Authority took a big step towards its goal by collaborating with GRID Alternatives and the Make it Right Foundation and installing four grid-tied residential photovoltaic (PV) systems in a housing development built for families who are below 60% of the national average median income.
On November 3, 2015, GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles completed our 1000th installation in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts for the Valtierra family.
GRID Alternatives Colorado and Mazzetti volunteers recently completed a solar installation on the roof of Alaa and family. The Iraqi refugee will use the hands-on solar installation experience to establish a career in the renewable energy industry!
The counties that the Rosebud Sioux reservation encompasses are among the poorest in the nation, with unemployment rates as high as 83 percent, and as much as three quarters of the employed population still living under the poverty line. Winter is always the worst, with frigid temperatures, ice and snow limiting already-scarce work opportunities, and sending electricity bills skyrocketing. This year, though, a beacon of hope for some relief is taking shape in the form of a solar array on the home of tribal member Karen Spotted Tail.
The wide stretches of sparsely populated land in Navajo Nation can make it feel like you’ve stepped back into the past. For residents here, that remoteness comes with a price: many live without electricity. Across the Navajo nation, an estimated 15,000 homes have never been connected to the grid. This week we demonstrated one way to begin addressing this issue with an off-grid solar installation for Vietnam veteran Henry Yazzie.
GRID Alternatives launches its Tribal Solarthon in partnership with four tribes across the country to provide solar power and solar job training to tribal residents and put a spotlight on energy and economic issues in Native American communities.