Twenty-eight engineering students from Cal Poly Pomona spent their spring break soaking up the sun not in Florida but on Southern California rooftops this year, inaugurating the first-ever GRID Alternatives solar spring break. GRID Alternatives Inland Empire? s ?Alternative Break? is designed to be a multi-day training and solar installation that gives college students a way to learn some new skills, make new friends, and give back to their communities and the environment during school breaks. Participants raise funds to cover not only their expenses, but also part of the systems they are installing.
During the week of March 25, 2013, the students installed systems for two low-income families in Redlands and Loma Linda. The 5.8 kW of power will save the families almost $55,000 over the systems? lifetimes, and prevent more than 180 tons of greenhouse gas emissions?the clean air equivalent of 4000 trees.