“Groups of women are kind of the best when it comes to getting things done efficiently and effectively,” said Nicole Steele, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, kicking off GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic’s first We Build. We Build is an all-women’s solar installation, part of GRID Alternatives’ national Women in Solar Program, working to build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive solar industry by providing pathways to technical careers for women, highlighting the voices of women of color in the industry, and providing national leadership on solar workforce diversity.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) sponsored the solar installation. “SEIA is so proud to sponsor this event, because we believe strongly that diversity, inclusion, and equity are the fundamental cornerstones of making solar the most important part of our energy portfolio,” said Abby Hopper, President and CEO of SEIA. Eight women volunteers joined GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic on a roof in DC to install ten solar panels and set up the electrical side of the system. The women represented many organizations across the industry, including SEIA, Alpha Solar Group, Advanced Energy Economy, SunRun, and EarthSpark International. Each woman came from a different background bringing unique talents to the install, and were united through the same passion and interest: solar.
The solar will benefit homeowner Bernice Rink, a single woman living on a fixed income, who championed “Women Power!” throughout the day, and hosted everyone in her backyard with food and shade. “Without this program, persons like myself, living on a fixed income, would not be able to afford this. Which means they would have to make a choice between paying their light bill, or getting their medication,” said Bernice Rink.
Together, these women selflessly gave up a Saturday to install solar, and together, they installed a 2.85 kW solar system, that will soon save homeowner Rink $600 a year on her electric bills. Even though they individually had not installed solar before, they finished installing the system in record time. When women work together, they are unstoppable.
Learn more about We Build and GRID’s other programs that empower women in the solar industry.