Solar Training for Chemehuevi Tribal Members

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February 01, 2021
Chemehuevi Tribal Solar Project Construction Team picture

GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) was awarded funding from the​ ​Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund​ (TSAF) to solarize eight homes on the Chemehuevi Tribal Reservation in Lake Havasu, California. Of the eight homes these qualified tribal families will a receive no-cost solar, four had previously been installed.

The Chemehuevi Tribe contributed and supported the project through in-kind donations and services from multiple tribal departments. In addition, they also provided two trainees from the tribe through their Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance (TERO) Program. The TERO Director Mr. Vernar Escobar was instrumental in helping GRID IE identify trainees to work on this project. He worked in partnership with GRID IE’s Workforce and Volunteer team to help facilitate the remote orientation and assist with communication during installations. The TERO department also supported the TSAF grant by funding payment of the trainees' work hours. 

Frederick Hernandez, a Chemehuevi tribal member who has lived on the reservation most of his life, was among the team of volunteers who worked on the project and expressed his appreciation for the opportunity. 

“This was a first-time experience for me. I’ve known about GRID since 2015 and observed when they’ve come to install solar on tribal members’ homes on the reservation,” said Frederick. He continued, “I learned a lot working on this project. How to connect brackets to hold the solar panels, as well as how to connect the solar panels together using proper cables. I would love to continue my education of solar installation and maintenance, and hope to work on future projects with GRID.”

GRID’s Tribal Program​ helps tribal communities become self-sustaining by providing resources to assist with their clean energy goals. For more information about GRID Alternatives Inland Empire, visit www.gridalternatives.org/ie or call 951-272-GRID (4743).