In September, a group of 50 women from around the country joined GRID Alternatives Colorado for GRID’s first-ever WE Build retreat. Over two days of camping and comradery, the women installed 200 panels on a low-income community solar array in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The project, a partnership with Yampa Valley Electric Association, is one of 5-10 low-income community solar projects totalling an estimated 1MW that GRID Colorado is building in partnership with local utilities through a pilot project with the Colorado Energy Office. The following guest post was written by Grace Brown, a participant in the WE Build retreat.
As we warmed ourselves by the fire on a crisp Saturday morning, the misty lake at Stagecoach State Park glowed yellow. The women of WE Build were preparing ourselves for a volunteer workday in Steamboat Springs. We headed out for the 148 kW array at Yampa Valley Electric Association, where we filled up on breakfast and coffee to charge us up for the day.
Throughout the weekend, I found myself continually impressed by the company I was in. Engineers, green project developers, Yampa Valley’s CEO, and even a local Girl Scout troop all came to work toward two common goals: bringing clean, affordable power to local residents, and empowering women to join and thrive in the solar industry.
I really enjoyed the hands-on work on the solar array. Getting out with the team of 50 women to install 200 solar panels was an enriching way to spend the weekend, further developing my love of this industry. I had an absolute blast, and I’m already looking forward to the next WE Build!