French Students Visit GRID Alternatives Inland Empire


May 28, 2019
University of Nice, France students and GRID IE volunteers and construction team with homeowner Gordon Countryman

At a recent UCR Solar Energy Conference, a professor from Université Nice Sophia Antipolis stopped by GRID’s table and expressed interest in having their students visit GRID during their trip to the United States. GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) was excited to receive them. Approximately 30 master studies’ students in engineering and sustainability were given a tour of GRID IE offices to learn about GRID’s mission and the work being done in the inland region. In addition, they also had an opportunity to visit the Sunrun facility. Sunrun has been a longtime partner of GRID through philanthropic donations as well as volunteerism, aligning with GRID’s mission of making clean affordable solar accessible to underserved communities. The students enjoyed their visit to Sunrun and had an opportunity to ask an array of questions about solar power, batteries, general questions about solar and learn about careers in the solar industry. They also learned about the tools the installers use for installations and even got a glimpse inside an installation truck.

During the final week of their visit, the students from Nice, France participated in a solar installation in Desert Hot Springs. Homeowner Gordon Countryman is a Vietnam Veteran who was waitlisted for two years prior to receiving his solar system. He said he had researched many other solar companies, but none were comparable to GRID’s Energy for All Program.

“GRID is an outstanding organization. I am happy to have been approved and look forward to the savings that I can expect to see on my electric bill,” said homeowner Countryman.

The French students gained hands-on experience installing solar panels for the first time, which further expanded their knowledge about the solar industry. One of the students, Nathan Guittard is studying to obtain his master’s degree in energy materials and sustainable energy. Nathan got a chance to learn something new about the electric component of solar and the installation of the breaker box, which he said was very interesting. “I enjoyed the entire experience volunteering for GRID and was impressed with the professionalism and overall expertise the GRID team had,” he said.

To learn more about getting hands-on training that prepares you for a career in solar, visit