Since 2001, nonprofit solar installer GRID Alternatives has been on a mission to bring more solar energy to underserved communities. In addition to installing solar for low-income families in California, Colorado, the Mid-Atlantic and tribal nations, GRID also focuses on providing solar job training. Solar Industry caught up with two recent graduates of GRID’s training program in Washington, D.C., where new renewable energy mandates could portend a major jobs market for solar in the future.
GRID in the News
Today, the District of Columbia Council passed the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018, which doubles the strength of the current renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by requiring that 100% of the District’s energy come from clean, renewable sources by 2032.
In an op-ed for The Virginian-Pilot, GRID Mid-Atlantic's Nicole Steele writes that Virginia is at a solar turning point and equitable clean energy policies targeting low- and middle-income Virginians will keep money in the local economy, allow communities to build wealth, and create local jobs.
Solar Works DC is a solar installation and job training program led by GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, in Washington, DC. The program provides no cost solar to low-income communities and offers community members the solar installation training and hands on experience needed to pursue careers in the industry. Devonta Sanders was a participant in the first Solar Works DC cohort and now works as a Construction Fellow for GRID Alternatives. Hear him reflect on his journey into the solar industry.
Jacqui Traiger, Outreach Coordinator, and Dom Paul-Baha, Workforce Training Supervisor, discuss GRID's job training and solar installation programs on WEBR Radio Fairfax.
Hear from Kaly Moore, Serena Bruce, Andrew Eames, and Reggie Chandler, on their experience at GRID Alternatives and the work that we do.
Solar panels are more than renewable sources of energy for participants in the GRID Alternatives program. For Tazz Hunter, they are catalysts of change.
How does someone get a job in the solar energy industry? 90% of employers in the Mid-Atlantic area find it either somewhat or very difficult to hire qualified individuals, according to The Solar Foundation’s 2017 Solar Jobs Census. And solar jobs pay well; an installer job pays on average $20 an hour. So how do we bridge the gap between inexperience and jobs? The answer – job training.
Families living in an affordable housing complex in Washington, D.C., will benefit from upgrades to their homes, thanks to solar energy provided by GRID Alternatives.
We all know that solar energy is good for the environment and good for your pocketbook. Even a small solar array on a DC rowhouse roof can significantly reduce electricity costs. But, did you know that solar energy is also creating jobs for District residents? In 2017, Washington, DC, increased its solar energy workforce by 10 percent and now ranks sixth in the number of solar jobs per capita in the US.