Students Spend Spring Break Bringing Renewable Energy to Underserved Communities


March 28, 2013

The GRID Inland Empire office launched its Inaugural Alternative Break Event during Spring Break 2013 during the week of March 25th. GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) will be in the Cities of Redlands and Loma Linda to solarize the homes of Alejandra Pennington and Dewi Maria Sagala, with the help of the Southern California Engineering Technology Association of California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, for GRID IE’s Inaugural Alternative Spring Break Project. To commemorate this landmark event, Mayor Pete Aguilar from the City of Redlands welcomed the Alternative Spring Break team!

It is often difficult for college students to volunteer with GRID during the week because of busy class schedules and extra-curriculars. GRID sees the time between quarters/semesters as an excellent opportunity for young individuals to serve the community, learn how to install solar as a team, and help build a foundation for a sustainable energy future.

When asked why they were spending their spring break installing solar systems instead of going to the beach, many of the students said it was a no-brainer. Not only were they going to learn a new skill, but they were also empowering a community with renewable energy. One volunteer, Robert, could not believe all the information he learned in just one day! By attending this installation, it has reaffirmed his desire to eventually start his own solar business.

The Alternative Spring Break project is installing 2 solar electric systems, generating 5.783 kW of clean, renewable energy. This will equal $ 54,022 in total savings for the families over the systems’ lifetimes. In addition, 182 tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be prevented over the systems’ lifetimes, equivalent to planting 4,286 trees.

Keep checking our webpage, in our Special Events section, to find more information about our Summer and Winter Alternative Breaks. If you would like to participate or sponsor a team, please contact our SolarCorps Volunteer Training Fellow at