Environmental Justice

Uneven playing field

“Employers do background checks — and no one is hiring an ex-felon. That alone is enough to discourage someone from applying to jobs,” said Wells, who had to start his solar career at temp agencies or “mom and pop” installers because “nine times out of ten they don’t screen — but nine times out of ten they don’t pay either — or you don’t have benefits.”

Wells had to go through temp agencies — “getting hired through the temp agency and working at the same company that denied you — while getting paid $14 per hour instead of $20 per hour.”

This year, Interconnection went online for the first time ever. Instead of gathering in San Francisco, we were able to broadcast our speakers and honorees directly to people’s living rooms. Although we missed seeing everyone in person, it was a wonderful opportunity to connect remotely with our GRID family across the globe - nearly 200 households tuned in to watch the live event!

U.S. clean-energy organizations joined nationwide expressions of grief and anger this week following the recent killings of black Americans including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) lamented continuing racial inequities in the U.S., suggesting they would redouble efforts on diversifying the renewables workforce and consider how their industries can stand against racial injustice.

Affordable housing might not be the first market that comes to mind for solar energy technology, but it is the one that might need it the most. Utility bills are usually the largest and most volatile portion of an affordable housing development’s budget. Stabilizing utility bills through solar and other measures makes it easier to maintain operating budgets, retain tenant services, and avoid raising rents.

Through SMUD's Solar Community Grant program, GRID Alternatives North Valley is set to install a solar electric system to help power the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services Arata Brothers building in Oak Park later this year. This will lower their electricity bill and leave more money available to deliver needed community support services. 

After the 2018 California wildfires, GRID prepared a strategic community Disaster Recovery Initiative in Butte County. Our goals were, and still are, to support efforts to build affordable housing while integrating clean and resilient energy technology solutions. GRID is an active member of the Camp Fire Long Term Recovery Group and contributes our organizational capacity and technical expertise to a number of regional efforts related to affordable housing, climate change, and disaster recovery. 

Black Hills Energy has announced the partners it has selected to supply an additional 2.5 megawatts of new community solar garden capacity in Southern Colorado.

The new projects include a 2 megawatt facility and a separate 500-kilowatt garden dedicated entirely to serving low-income customers, according to Black Hills.