Philanthropic efforts seem well-suited in the realm of renewable energy. GRID Alternatives, a non-profit solar installer based out of Oakland, is a prime example of how solar energy can benefit not just our environment but our community. They are known for their Solar Affordable Housing Program, which gives volunteers and job trainees the opportunity to get useful, hands-on experience installing solar electric systems for low-income families. Over 1,700 solar electric photovoltaic systems have been installed by GRID Alternatives since 2004 to benefit families in their community, who can use put the savings from their electricity bills toward other crucial necessities.
Around 8,000 community volunteers have gone through training with the Solar Affordable Housing Program. With the anticipated increase in green energy jobs, volunteers can take advantage of this free instruction. These projects unite environmental activists, low-income community advocates, aspiring solar experts, and homeowners, all who are enthusiastic about sustainable and renewable energy which delivers immediate results. GRID Alternatives stands by their vision that clean energy should be available to all members of a community, not just for the wealthy or large corporations, and especially for those who need the savings more than anyone else.
These efforts are made possible with GRID Alternatives’ strategic partnership with Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited’s U.S. subsidiary, Yingli Solar, who just recently announced their plans to continue the program for another year. Yingli is one the world’s largest vertically integrated photovoltaic manufactures and leaders in the solar industry. Last year the 1 MW partnership supplied 400 low-income homes with solar power, saving an estimated $11 billion total over the systems’ lifetimes. Yingli is committed to another 1 MW project this year through the new agreement which will help the program reach families in Colorado as well.
“Supporting our local communities through corporate social responsibility initiatives is something we care deeply about, and we are very proud to be official partners with GRID Alternatives,” said Robert Petrina, Managing Director of Yingli Americas. “Our combined teams were a great fit from the start given our common goals for protecting the environment and helping those in need.”
(Image courtesy of: http://www.gridalternatives.org/)