SunPower® Solar Academy: Real-World Business-Focused Experience

For the third consecutive summer, Orosi High School invited GRID Alternatives to be part of the SunPower Solar Academy. The SunPower Solar Academy is a week-long, intensive, work-based learning experience for high school students that includes lectures from professionals, hands-on activities and field visits.  Student teams worked on a solar project to create a startup company and design a solar system for a client. Then each team presented their solar proposal to a panel of judges, who voted on the winning team. Orosi students participated in the SunPower and GRID Alternatives partnership by attending two installations, one in Visalia for the Farar family and one in Ivanhoe for the Hurtado family. Media coverage highlighted the event, ABC30: South Valley homes get solar installed for free.

Something unique about this event was the participation of three family members.  Denzel Garcia, a two year SunPower Solar Academy participant, returned for the experience with his brother, James Garcia and his cousin, Jemuel Garcia.  Denzel, a sharp and hardworking student at Orosi High, initially heard of the SunPower Academy through the media last year, he attended and liked it so much that he invited James and Jemuel to attend this year.  The opportunity was a great experience for the three Orosi students. As a group, they have made a great bonding memory and they are happy to have volunteer experience as well as real-world, business-focused experience that sets them apart for a successful future. This year, the students have made an impact of 8.6 kW installed, $80,264 lifetime savings for the homeowner, prevented 165 tons of greenhouse gases from going into the environment and the equivalent of 3,830 trees being planted! GRID looks forward to many more years of student success with the help of the SunPower Solar Academy.