The GRID North Coast office is proud that we are currently on the cusp of completing our biggest project ever, a Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) project in Round Valley. This solar project is serving a 12 unit townhome community. GRID is grateful for the financial support to make this happen from both SOMAH and the JPB Foundation. This project has been a long time coming with planning starting in 2019 and several delays due to COVID. The 56 DC kW (183 module) project will 100% benefit the tenants saving them an estimated $9,568 per year, and $243,616 over the systems’ lifetime.
One of the highlights of this project is that we were able to engage two trainees, at 1.4% percent over the minimum wage, who gained solar installation experience on the job. We are thrilled to introduce one of these trainees, Angelo Bettega, who is a total rock star!
Angelo came to GRID by the referral of his grandmother and great grandmother, who both had GRID solar installed on their homes recently. These two clients are tribal members of tribes that are hours away from each other. We didn’t know they were related until we had completed their solar applications! It has been such a gift to get to know some of the members of this incredible family, and to have Angelo on the North Coast GRID team as our SOMAH trainee. He is a fantastic human and we are excited to highlight him to the GRID community. Thanks for everything Angelo, we hope to work with you again!
Can you share a bit about yourself, and what made you originally interested in the trainee experience at GRID?
My name is Angelo, I grew up in Mendocino County, which is a really beautiful place. I’m Native American and so I have always appreciated that beauty, and I want to maintain it. When I heard about the opportunity at GRID, I was interested right away, especially because GRID works with low income families, helping the planet, renewable energy. I have always been looking into renewable energy in my personal life and as a career.
Can you share a bit about your experience working with the GRID team and any highlights of your experience or learning?
The experience overall was magnificent, the team was great, really helpful. If I didn’t understand something they were really supportive and explained it so I would understand. Great communication and teamwork. I appreciated the focus on safety, especially on the roof. I didn’t feel outed, I felt like I was part of the team. I learned a lot, from conduit bending, to grounding, to getting up on the roof. The team and this experience got me out of my comfort zone, but I didn’t feel forced. I also appreciated the little things, like stopping at a beautiful creek or river on the drive after work. We went to the library in Covelo, which showed that the GRID staff really cares about the community, and about learning about the community and tribes in the area. Everybody at GRID is working hard, pushing everybody to work hard, stay safe, and get the job done. We all did a great job.
Are there any ways you can see this experience supporting you in the future?
This experience definitely opened me up to solar energy and renewable energy. Honestly being involved in this work confirmed that I definitely want to work in solar in my career. Maybe I could even start a business of cleaning solar panels in my community. GRID helped me see that I want to work in the solar industry.
Anything else you would share with people about your Trainee experience with GRID or about solar?
This work might seem intimidating because of the heat, and how important it is for the work to be done well - but it’s just going to take your effort to learn as much as you can, and then you’ll soon be installing modules like a professional! I was uncomfortable at first, but with the help and support of the GRID team I learned the job I gained a lot of confidence and now I feel like I am a professional. I hope to work with GRID again in the future.
Angelo is pictured with Cora Saxton, GRID's North Coast Manager