GRID Alternatives is a national leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to low income communities and communities of color. It sees its mission as more than just bringing renewable energy to under-served communities. It also invests in people by offering training opportunities that will allow low income workers to find jobs in the renewable energy industry. It has provided free job training for women, brought solar power to Native American communities, and provided jobs and solar installations to low income families in Baltimore. It is also active in Nicaragua, Nepal, and Mexico. In all, it has trained more than 35,000 people for careers in the solar industry.
Recently, GRID Alternatives completed its 10,000th residential solar system installation with a total power of 42 megawatts. Those installations will save families more than $300 million in lifetime energy costs and prevent 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.
“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.”
In 2018, GRID Alternatives expects to install more than 1900 new solar systems with a total capacity of 15 megawatts and offer training to more than 4,000 people through its SolarCorps Fellowships, installation training programs, and volunteerism. Sunrun has partnered with GRID Alternatives for the past 6 years. In 2016, Sunrun donated more than $150,000 in goods and services to GRID Alternatives. “Solar has tremendous benefits for low income communities. We’re incredibly grateful for partners like Sunrun that share our vision of a transition to clean energy that includes everyone, and are willing to roll up their sleeves with us and make that happen,” says Erica Mackie.