We made it! Fifty volunteers and GRID staff swarmed rooftops and garages in Lakewood, CO this morning to start installing the first four of 12 solar electric systems we'll be putting in here this week. The project is a preview of GRID Colorado, opening 2013, which will bring solar savings, job skills and clean, local energy to communities across the Centenial state!
We couldn't have asked for a warmer welcome, from the Wells Fargo seed grant that got us started, to the support of Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver in finding clients, to the tables, chairs, tools, you-name-it offered by local non-profit Veteran's Green Jobs, whose employees will be out on the roof with us all week. (Stay tuned for some great stories from this group, who are retired Marines, Army, Air Force and Navy helping others like them find new careers serving their communities and improving the environment.)
Our site this week is a single-family Habitat for Humanity development built in 1998, and you can see new Habitat buildings going up just across the street from where we are working. Josie, a homeowner in the neighborhood who is volunteering with us this week, spent five years putting in the 500 hours she needed to get her Habitat home. Now she's back on the roof helping out her neighbor.
Most of our volunteers today were from Veterans Green Jobs, Colorado Energy Office and Xcel, one of Colorado's investor-owned utilities. The Xcel employees, most from the renewable energy and energy efficiency divisions, are no strangers to volunteering -- the company gives employees 40 hours of paid volunteer time a year -- but for many of them it was their first time on the roof. Needless to say, they left happy and proud, even if they didn't get to lay any panels.
Thanks to all who made this happen. We're so happy to be here!