GRID in the News

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

Colorado School of Mines students are helping make solar power more accessible to low-income Coloradans. The Mines Energy Club recently volunteered with GRID Alternatives to help build two community solar arrays, one in Fort Collins and the other near Denver International Airport.

Last week, team members from the Monterey office traveled to Watkins, Colorado to meet members from the construction crew on site at one of RPCS’ Colorado Array DuraTrack HZ tracker projects.

Many areas have similar utility assistance programs that help residents who are having a difficult time paying their utility bills. Some utility companies are taking this idea to a whole new level by building solar energy projects whose electrons are devoted specifically to lower-income residents.

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