GRID in the News

FORT COLLINS --The Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, which announced last month that it was a finalist for a national award, has won that award, Electric Cooperative Utility of the Year

Solar is no longer a fledgling industry. It’s more important than ever to improve diversity in hiring, say NAACP’s Rosemary Lytle and Vote Solar’s Melanie Santiago-Mosier.

Last year, Poudre Valley REA teamed up with the nonprofit GRID Alternatives and the Colorado Energy Office to build the 6,106-panel, 1.5-megawatt solar array on 9 acres south of the Larimer County Landfill southwest of Fort Collins on land leased from the county.

The Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association, at its annual conference in Denver last week... honored Denver-based Grid Alternatives Colorado for its Coyote Ridge Community Solar Project in Fort Collins, a project of the Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association.

Positive Impact Colorado, which provides education and re-entry services for the recently incarcerated, worked with the NAACP and Grid Alternatives Colorado to launch the Power Up Employment Project, providing job training in solar installation and increasing the availability of clean energy to under-resourced communities.

DHA is the developer, owner and subscriber of the garden, and partnered with Grid Alternatives and other industry experts, to assist in navigating the complex utility policies, financing structures and allocation of benefits. The system will power approximately 700 low-income units across Xcel Energy’s Denver territory, including DHA properties, other local housing authorities and affordable housing developers.

Though emerging markets have made great strides in expanding access to off-grid solar to the poor, in the U.S. and other developed countries, access to solar energy has largely been limited to middle- and upper-income communities. Despite the rapid growth in alternative energy, low-income people in these markets rarely enjoy its benefits. Yet they are often the ones who would benefit the most.

Under GRID’s community participation and workforce development model, job trainees, volunteers from the community and employees from the utility came together to work alongside GRID staff in the construction of the PVREA project... The entire installation took just under 60 days.

One early example of a collaborative, low-cost project was HCE’s 145-kW low-income solar installation in the Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado. The co-op worked with GRID Alternatives Colorado for the installation, and the Colorado Energy Office for financial assistance.

The senator put on a hardhat and climbed onto the roof to help install the solar panels on the home Friday morning with GRID Alternatives, a non-profit organization that helps low-income homeowners access renewable energy

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