2014 was a BIG year for GRID Alternatives Central Coast!

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February 06, 2015

 We are humbled by the generosity of our many volunteers, supporters and contributors - together we achieved a huge milestone: our 500th Solar Installation on the Central Coast! We completed this installation in October during our annual community and fundraising event – Solarthon - made possible by the support of Wells Fargo, PG&E, Rabobank, and the San Luis Obispo Community Foundation as well as dozens of volunteers, job trainees, and community members. This means 500 low-income families on the Central Coast are receiving the savings and benefits of solar with impacts that will last over 30 years! In 2014 alone, GRID Alternatives Central Coast engaged 533 volunteers and job trainees who donated over 7,000 hours of their time, working towards our mission to make renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities. We are so grateful for the efforts of these individuals!

2014 also brought growth to our Workforce Development programs through the establishment of our Troops to Solar, Students for Solar, Youth in Solar, and national Women in Solar initiatives. Troops to Solar provides accelerated team leadership training to Veterans transitioning from active duty in the military. Students for Solar is for university and community college students looking to get hands-on experience in solar installation, to either supplement their current classwork, or to become skilled and marketable in the rapidly-growing solar industry.  Youth in Solar involves at-risk and/or out-of-school youth aged 16-21, as well as high school students looking for vocational training in the solar industry. Our national Women in Solar program aims to involve women, who are currently underrepresented in the solar workforce, to increase the talent pool and add important perspectives as solar becomes more mainstream. Our team will be working hard researching opportunities to increase funding and expansion of these programs to create even more of an impact as we move into 2015!

GRID Alternatives Central Coast could not possibly do the work that we are able to accomplish without the help and contributions of our local partners. In 2014, we worked with numerous job training groups, government organizations, community foundations, corporate partners, and educational institutions to further our mission and engage volunteers and job trainees. In particular, we would like to thank CET Soledad, CET San Jose Electrician students, Peoples’ Self Help Housing, Habitat for Humanity, South County Housing, CHISPA, Sun Edison, Wells Fargo, PG&E, Rabobank, BHE Renewables (formerly MidAmerican Solar), Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation, Cal Poly Honors Program, Cal Poly BRAE, Bakari Youth program, Morro Bay Coast Guard, Hartnell Community College, County of San Luis Obispo, County of Monterey, and City of Salinas. We are incredibly grateful for the support you have given and look forward to continued partnerships in 2015!

As we look ahead into 2015, we are excited by the many possibilities to further our work in underserved communities and to help under-employed residents gain valuable solar installation skills. In San Luis Obispo County, GRID Alternatives Central Coast is very excited to have 12 Arizona State University students joining us in March for “Solar Spring Break” – a week long exploration of solar on the Central Coast culminating with a 2-day solar installation sponsored in full by these Solar Champions! We are also excited about the work we will be doing throughout San Luis Obispo County to install solar on 40 homes utilizing Community Development Block Grant funding. Additionally, we will continue to hold our “Sip and Solar” events quarterly to get the word out about the great work we are doing, share homeowner stories, and celebrate our accomplishments.

Outside of San Luis Obispo County, in our Northern territory of Santa Cruz County, keep your eye out for some awesome upcoming events as we develop new partnerships and spread the word about our work in that area.  Work in San Benito County will continue as we install solar in numerous affordable housing neighborhoods in Hollister and continue to develop relationships and engage volunteers, job trainees, and corporate sponsors. Santa Barbara County will see an expansion of our services as we place more focus on finding ways that we can help residents in the community achieve the savings and environmental benefits inherent in solar. Work in Monterey County will continue to expand as we focus on installations in Salinas, Gonzales, and unincorporated areas working with local government funding through the Community Development Block Grant program. Of course, our work will continue in Soledad, Greenfield and King City providing much needed assistance to these well-deserving residents.  Our growing Crew is so excited about all the work we are accomplishing throughout our vast territory. With the help of our community, sponsors, and numerous individuals, we are achieving our vision of a successful transition to clean, renewable energy that includes everyone! Come on out, join our mission, learn about solar, get on a roof, donate, and help us create lasting impact on the Central Coast in 2015 and beyond!

 

                                                               CHECK OUT THESE STATS!!!

 

GRID Alternatives

Central Coast Impacts

2014

GRID Alternatives

Central Coast Impacts

(since opening in 2010)

GRID Alternatives Nationwide Impacts

(since opening in 2004)

119 Solar Systems Installed

541 Solar Systems Installed

5,005 Solar Systems Installed

323 kW Installed

1,343 kW Installed

14,761 kW Installed

$2,737,079 lifetime savings to

                     homeowners

$11,389,050 lifetime savings to

                       homeowners

$125,116,655 lifetime savings to

                          homeowners

8,447 tons of greenhouse gas

           emissions prevented

35,149 tons of greenhouse gas

              emissions prevented

389,515 tons of greenhouse gas

                emissions prevented

1,504 cars off the road for a year

6,257 cars off the road for a year

69,334 cars off the road for a year