For Immediate Release
Media contact: Maya Batres, GRID Alternatives, firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-585-8542
Oakland, CA – The State of California enacted new legislation, Assembly Bill 2316 in September 2022, to create a nationally-leading community solar program where 51% of the program’s capacity will serve low-and-moderate income customers. California’s legislation aims to align with federal incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act to maximize equity benefits of the program. Community Solar is poised for tremendous growth in California and solar developers will be looking for contractors and workforce partners to meet the opportunity.
“With community solar being one of the fastest growing sectors in the clean energy economy, minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-and-military owned contractors are well-positioned to expand professionally and build their businesses with the growing industry,” said Tom Figel, GRID’s Senior Director of Policy & Business Development.
GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit that is building community powered solutions to advance economic and environmental justice through renewable energy in the United States and internationally. GRID is proud to be a part of the success of the solar industry’s job growth by providing workforce development and training opportunities. GRID has trained close to 1,700 individuals in solar installation and placed more than 1,400 trainees at jobs in the renewable energy sector. Diversifying the solar workforce with highly qualified employees is part of GRID’s mission, and it is critical to the continued growth of the renewable energy sector.
As the nation’s largest nonprofit solar installer, GRID was pleased to participate in the Community Solar Power Summit in San Diego, CA on January 18-19, 2023 and host a “Developer & Contractor Diversity Networking Fair,” on January 19. With more than 50 participants in the room, this event provided a dedicated space for a diverse network of contractors to connect with national and regional community solar developers. Working with RE+ Events and partners through the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA), GRID aimed to ensure that opportunities for diverse and minority contractors are centered in the industry’s growth. Sponsors for this event included CCSA, Dimension Renewable Energy and New Energy Equity, and the San Diego Equal Opportunity Contracting Office is GRID’s community partner.
“As community solar is set to take off in California thanks to the passage of AB 2316, CCSA is committed to supporting a diverse community solar industry in California and nationally. We were excited to partner with GRID and our members to create opportunities for diverse contractors to thrive in conjunction with the industry’s growth,” said Jeff Cramer, CEO of CCSA.
Community solar developers and regional contractors had the chance to:
- Meet with each other to learn how regional contractors can expand or increase their existing clean energy business and support community solar projects
- Share experiences, skills, company profile and job and contracting opportunities
- Learn about contracting opportunities
GRID is committed to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the California solar industry through the growth of community solar.
“The solar industry has been rapidly growing for years, and is slated to expand exponentially with potential passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which makes historic investments in solar energy,” said Adewale OgunBadejo. “Some reports suggest that the industry could employ more than one million Americans by 2030. GRID understands that a just transition to clean energy requires bringing together a diverse pool of contractors and community solar developers to advance equity to be able to do all that is required in the massive effort to electrify all communities. This networking fair was part of GRID’s ongoing efforts to create a more diverse and equitable solar-ready workforce that includes mission-aligned contractors.”
“We were excited to be a sponsor of GRID’s networking event, as Dimension is dedicated to building a diverse solar workforce and providing contractors with sustainable career paths and opportunities to grow and expand their businesses,” said Joe Henri, Senior Vice President of Policy for Dimension Renewable Energy.
In partnership with the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) and RE+ Events, the Community Solar Power Summit brought together leading community solar businesses, utilities, nonprofits, and policymakers for an exclusive two day event. Attendees enjoyed in-depth conversations with national community solar thought leaders from CCSA, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), sessions on current trends and policies, networking opportunities, and solution providers. The Summit was presented in coordination with the National Community Solar Partnership.
About GRID Alternatives
Renewable energy can drive economic growth and environmental benefits in communities most impacted by underemployment, pollution and climate change. GRID Alternatives is a leader in helping economic and environmental justice communities get clean, affordable renewable energy, transportation, and jobs. Internationally, our energy access work is lighting up off-grid communities in Nepal, Nicaragua, and Mexico. GRID envisions a rapid, equitable transition to a world powered by renewable energy that benefits everyone.