Solar Works DC

Gain hands-on solar installation experience through Solar Works DC! 

Solar Works DC is a low-income solar installation and job training program spearheaded by the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) and the Department of Employment Services (DOES). Solar Works DC is part of Solar for All, a program of DOEE that seeks to provide the benefits of solar electricity to 100,000 low-income households and reduce their energy bills by 50% by 2032. The program, which was established by the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, is funded by the Renewable Energy Development Fund (REDF). For more information about Solar for All visit: http://doee.dc.gov/solarforall.

GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic is responsible for implementing the program, preparing participating District residents to enter careers in solar and related industries while reducing energy costs for qualified low-income District homeowners by installing solar systems on their homes.  

Two 12-week cohorts will operate in the Fall and Spring and will be open to District residents, ages 18 and over. Participants in the 12-week sessions will complete GRID’s Installation Basics Training (IBT) program, earning industry-relevant skills certificates by demonstrating competency in real-world solar installations. In addition, the participants will attend customer outreach and construction workshops as well as receive CPR and OSHA 10 certifications, and take the NABCEP PV Associate Credential exam. During the summer, a six-week prorated program will run for DC residents ages 18-24. Read our trainees' testimonials about the program.

Solar Works DC is working to install solar systems on up to 300 low-income single-family homes in the District by the end of 2021.

Program Details
  • Training is 12-weeks long (6-weeks in the summer), Monday to Friday, up to 35 hours per week. The program is implemented via a hybrid model (both virtual and in-person) until further notice. Training happens in the classroom, through educational sessions, workshops and simulated exercises, and on-the-ground training through live-installs. 
  • Classroom sessions begin at 9 am; hands-on solar installations begin at 7:30am; approximately two days of hands-on solar installation experience per week
  • Transportation to and from installs sites are provided by the Solar Works DC.
  • Trainees will receive professional development workshops, case management, and job placement support for up to six months after graduation. 
  • Trainees who successfully complete and graduate the program will receive a completion certificate, OSHA card, CPR credentials, and a portfolio of their installs upon graduation. 

Meet cohort trainee graduates! 

Minimum Qualifications

Kevin, Devonta, Dominic, and Nicholas pose by their handiwork
Kevin, Devonta, Dominic, and Nicholas pose by their handiwork!

  • Must be a District resident and show proof of residency 
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED-equivalent
  • Must be able to commit to a 12-week program, Monday to Friday (up to 35 hours per week)
  • Must be able to climb a ladder and get on a rooftop for installations
  • Must be able to lift heavy equipment (rails, solar panels, etc.)
  • Must be able and willing to work in extreme temperatures. Before entering the program, all applicants must complete the following: one (1) day orientation; Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS) testing for basic math and reading; and two (2) week work readiness prerequisite.
Want to apply?

Registration in the Solar Works DC program is now open. 

Solar Works DC seeks 25 District residents to participate in a 12- week program: 6-weeks during summer. Previous experience in solar/renewable energy/technical trade or construction is a plus, but not required. However, a genuine interest in learning this trade and forging a career path in this field is highly recommended.  

Contact us at (202) 602-0191 or solarworksdc@gridalternatives.org for more information.

Thanks to our partners for making this program possible! 

Department of Energy and the Environment Logo

Department of Employment Services

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