GRID Alternatives, a national leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to low-income communities and communities of color, has installed its 10,000th solar electric system. The 42 MW of clean power represent a distributed generation power plant that is saving families over $300 million in lifetime energy costs and preventing 850,000 tons of carbon emissions.
“In reaching this milestone, we are showing that with the right investments and the right policies, we can create equitable energy solutions on a large scale,” said GRID Alternatives CEO and co-founder Erica Mackie.
GRID Alternatives has been installing solar power and providing job training in low-income communities in California since 2004, and now serves Colorado, the Mid-Atlantic region, and tribal communities nationwide. Through its international program, the organization also addresses energy access gaps in Nicaragua, Nepal and Mexico.
In 2015, GRID Alternatives partnered with Grand Valley Power in Colorado on the nation’s first utility-owned low-income community solar array, and has continued to pioneer new community solar models to expand access and reduce energy costs. The following year, GRID launched its multifamily program to help catalyze the market for solar on multifamily affordable housing. Drawing on its expertise in leading California’s Single-family Affordable Solar Homes program, the nation’s first low-income solar incentive program, GRID has also helped state and local governments and other stakeholders across the country design and deploy low-income solar policies and programs serving hundreds of thousands of residents.
“The benefits of these policies go beyond the energy cost savings of solar to the healthier air, community resiliency, and economic opportunities that clean energy can bring,” said Ms. Mackie. “Communities of color and low-income communities have faced the worst of the impacts of polluting power plants, giving them the highest claim to renewable energy access. We’re committed to continue working toward a transition to clean energy that includes and benefits everyone.”
GRID Alternatives expects to install more than 1900 systems totaling 15 MW of clean power in 2018 alone, and provide hands-on solar installation experience to more than 4,000 people through its SolarCorps Fellowships, installation training programs, and volunteerism.
— Solar Builder magazine