Luis Aguilera is a highly skilled carpenter who has been unable to work after sustaining injuries to both his shoulder and his knee. He and his wife, who is a pre-school teacher, have lived in their Hawthorne home for years but never imagined they would see solar on their own rooftop. Now, thanks to GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles and the philanthropic support and volunteer efforts of Solar Electric Solutions, the Aguilera family now has enough clean solar power to reduce their energy costs by 95% and eliminate almost 220,000 lbs of CO2 emissions.
Mr. Aguilera is looking forward to investing the money the family will save on their electricity bill into a better life for his three young children, but didn?t know much about solar and energy efficiency before a neighbor told him about GRID Alternatives. After one conversation about GRID?s program, he immediately became interested in how solar worked and what it could do for his family. ?Now I really want to learn more about it and about protecting the environment,? he said, and joined the installation team on the roof of his home to learn more about the process.
He and his wife have instilled their passion for learning in his oldest son, 12 year old Louis. Louis attended the Bernard Harris summer science camp at the University of Southern California where he shared his passion for the environment and told staff that his dream was to be a "green person," a dream he is already living by getting solar on his family home (you can read more about Louis and the summer science camp here). "Now I can play video games without a carbon footprint," he joked.
GRID's volunteer based installation model allows us to provide solar for low-income families while giving job trainees an opportunity to get the hands-on installation experience they need on their resumes to get hired by local employers. The system that the Solar Electric Solutions team sponsored and installed for the Aguilera family was a 3.8kW system and getting the 18 SunPower modules to the roof was no small feat, so the Solar Electric Solutions team were joined by a few of GRID?s longtime volunteers and Team Leaders for some extra support. One of them, James Morton, took a break from the install when he received a phone call from CLP, a placement agency that GRID Alternative Greater Los Angeles works very closely with, about a possible job.
The Solar Electric Solutions team included President Freeman Hall, Director of Development David Revelt, and COO Mike Stern, who brought their own unique areas of expertise and perspectives as utility scale solar developers to the project, which was enlightening for both our staff and for our Team Leaders who got a chance to get more information about developing larger projects. Meanwhile, the SES team enjoyed the rare chance to actually get out in the field and experience working directly with the nuts and bolts of the technology itself at a residential scale.
"We greatly enjoyed working with GRID Alternatives and installing a solar system for the Aguilera family," David Revelt commented, who also serves on the GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles Board of Directors. "It was a fun team building event for our company, and a great way to give back to the community."