“I know that one day, people will tell your story and say that you have changed the world” – Beatrice Sonfack at TechWomen The first day I ever spent on the roof with GRID Alternatives, I happened to look across the freeway and see a few tall houses with all black solar arrays in a row. I realized the GRID customer community - low-income families with access to solar - is small compared to the relatively more privileged community with easy access. GRID’s mission started to resonate, make solar practical and accessible to the people who could truly use it. It’s the reason I became a GRID Team Leader, finishing 14 installs in the last 12 months.
During the second week of August, GRID Alternatives worked closely with the Northern Pueblos Housing Authority (NPHA) and San Ildefonso Housing Commissioner Tom Garcia to install a 3.7 kW solar electric system for tribal elder Virginia Tafoya.
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Betty K Yazzie, a respected elder from the Bird Springs Navajo Chapter, lives within full-view of Dook'o'oosłííd, one of four Sacred Navajo Mountains. Living far from electricity and water infrastructure, “Betty K” must be resilient and independent--hauling water and tending to her chickens and sheep.
Congratulations to our partners from the Bishop Paiute Tribe, Chippewa Cree Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribal Utility Commission, and the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians! The Department of Energy announced last week that these tribes have been awarded funding to work with GRID to bring solar to even more tribal members.
Rose All Runner's grid-tied installation is part of a demonstration project, funded by a grant from the All Points North Foundation (APNF), to model sustainable energy development in Native American communities. The pilot includes solar installations for three families integrated with hands-on job training for up to 30 local tribal members in three different communities.
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.
See how you can break into the solar job market by volunteering with GRID.
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.