In early March, students from Arizona State University traveled to the central coast to participate in our second annual Solar Spring Break. Solar Spring Break is an alternative spring break program where students spend their vacation week engaged in community service and project based learning. The Arizona State students not only installed solar for low income families in the area, but also had the opportunity to participate in additional meaningful volunteer opportunities and activities that support GRID Alternatives in our mission to provide renewable energy access to all communities nationwide.
The Arizona State students who traveled to the Central Coast are enrolled in a master’s program studying solar engineering and commercialization. Through Solar Spring break they were able to get hands on experience applying the theories and concepts they are learning in the classroom to real world scenarios. One of the students, Abhishek Rao, explained his experience with the technical aspects of the week. “The GRID team made sure to explain every step of the installation process and let us do most of the install work, all the while looking out for our safety up on the roofs. Solar Spring Break has definitely added a much-needed real-world perspective to my experience studying solar energy engineering at school.” In addition to hands on experience, the students were also able to visit Topaz Solar Farm, currently the world’s largest commercial solar farm.
The students found time to explore the Central Coast in between solar related training and activities. Some of the highlights include camping in Morro Bay, visiting Hearst Castle, Playing soccer on the beach, wine tasting, and staying their last night at the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. Here is Abhishek, once again describing his experience, “It was a childhood dream come true, visiting a lighthouse let alone spending the night in one! It was a surreal feeling to see grey whales and sea otters in the Pacific waters!”
The entire GRID Alternatives Central Coast team would like to thank the students from Arizona State University for deciding to spend their spring break installing solar for low income families in the area. The benefit of the work that they have done will continually impact the lives of low-income families on the Central Coast for the next 25 years, providing much needed savings on their electricity bills. The systems the Arizona State students installed will save the clients $36,460 over the lifetime of the systems and offset 112 tons of greenhouse gasses, the equivalent of planting 2,646 trees. We would like to thank the students for their hard work, professionalism, and incredibly positive attitudes over the course of the week.
Click HERE for more information about Solar Spring Break!