Celebrating 10 Years at Bay Area North Coast!

As we celebrate the 10th anniversary at the Bay Area North Coast (BANC) satellite office, we reflect on the journey from a small, dedicated team to a vital part of the community. Located about 2.5 hours away from GRID Alternatives Bay Area Regional office, the North Coast office is known as the “small and mighty” team, currently comprising 4 construction staff (including our director) and 2 outreach & workforce staff. This office covers 4 counties, stretching from just north of the Bay Area to way up in northern California, encompassing over 10,000 square miles of beautiful and wild rural land. 

As part of the anniversary celebrations, interviews to current and former staff were conducted. Maggie Graham shared her story as the first North Coast office’s Outreach Coordinator, trailblazing GRID’s path to help residents gain access to clean renewable energy technology and reflecting on how the work at BANC has evolved while maintaining its core principles. 

Maggie’s journey to GRID North Coast wasn’t straightforward, “I was looking at various AmeriCorps jobs, and GRID had a bunch of positions at the time. I remember applying for several SolarCorps positions, which I did not get. But then I got the job at the North Coast office, and I was just thrilled because I had lived in Southern Oregon and just really loved Southern Oregon and Northern California,” Maggie shared. 

As the Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, Maggie’s responsibilities included training community members, giving them the orientation to volunteer to install solar with GRID, teaching clients the basics of solar installation, operation, and billing, as well as recruiting clients and volunteers. Her typical day, as described by Maggie, was very dynamic, ranging from meetings with partners and clients in various counties to administrative tasks and hands-on project work.  

GRID Alternatives Bay Area North Coast team picture II from March 2024 retreat


Like all small offices facing challenges wasn’t an anomaly at the North Coast office, Maggie the rewards of her role outpaced those complex moments, from starting a new office, working with volunteers and clients, and being part of memorable installations, like the ones with groups of middle school and high school girls from Redwood Valley. Also mentioned the challenges of navigating the complexities of housing and building types in the region. 

When asked how she would describe GRID North Coast to someone outside the organization, Maggie said, “GRID is an awesome nonprofit based in the Bay Area and working throughout Northern California and across the US to increase access to affordable renewable energy, especially in underserved communities. The North Coast Office serves Mendocino, Lake, and Humboldt counties in rural Northern California.” 

Achieving our 10-year milestone allows us to honor the dedication of the GRID Alternatives team, former and current, and to reflect on the impact we’ve made in the community. Here’s to many more years of serving the North Coast with renewable energy solutions and empowering our communities! 

GRID Alternatives Bay Area North Coast team picture from March 2024 retreat

To learn more about Maggie’s experience click here to go to the whole interview, conducted by our very own Kelsey Radmilovic.