Inspiring Solar Futures with SunPower

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August 30, 2018

For most high school students, summer typically means days at the beach, ice cream and creating new memories with family and friends. Many students put school on the back burner for the summer, but that was not the case for 38 students from Orosi, Dinuba and Visalia Unified high schools, who participated in the 2018 SunPower Solar Academy.

SunPower, a longtime partner of GRID Alternatives, held its annual SunPower Solar Academy in the communities of Porterville, Bakersfield, Orosi and Lemoore. For the second summer in a row, Orosi High School invited GRID Alternatives to be part of the academy. Throughout the five-day summer academy, students had the opportunity to learn all about residential photovoltaic systems, financing and design. Students worked in teams on a project to create a startup solar company and design a solar system for a client. Then they delivered their solar proposal presentation to a panel of judges, who after some deliberation, announced the winners.

With the help of Annaly Alvarado, Orosi High School Workforce Development Specialist, GRID was able to schedule a SunPower Solar Academy installation for 19 of the students. Since GRID requires students to be 18 years old to install on the roof and 16 years old to participate on the ground, our construction team set up mock roofs at the install site. This was a first for GRID Alternatives Central Valley, but it gave every student the opportunity to get the hands-on experience installing a photovoltaic system.

At the end of the day, the students had a fun learning experience and a new summer memory that will last a lifetime. Students helped install a 15-panel system for the Oritz family in Orosi, California. The impact of their work is expected to help the homeowner save over $21,000 throughout the lifetime of the system!

Thanks, SunPower, for supporting our Solar Futures program and inspiring the next generation of solar leaders!