Employee volunteers from Mitsubishi Electric in Cypress, California headquarters and students from California State University Long Beach’s Disabled Student Services donated their time last week to install a solar electric system on the roof of a Long Beach home. GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles, a non-profit organization that works with volunteers to install solar electric systems for low-income families, led the installation.
Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., a manufacturer of solar modules and other premier electronics, sponsored the installation of the bundled solar electric system, incorporating equipment donated by Mitsubishi Electric, Solectria Renewables and Orion Solar Racking. The system is expected to produce 97,604 kWh, which will provide the homeowner with substantial savings over the 30-year life of the system. The clean power generated by the system is expected to prevent more than 46 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the emissions that would come from burning more than 44,000 pounds of coal or consuming 4,600 gallons of gasoline.
“This is a shining example of corporate, public and charitable collaboration to contribute to our community,” said Gina Heng, vice president and general manager of Mitsubishi Electric’s Photovoltaic Division.
The installation was made possible through the generosity of Solectria Renewables and Orion Solar Racking, the leadership of GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles, and, of course, the CSLUB students and our employee volunteers.
Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation offered financial support, with a grant to GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles, to provide hands-on training and education in renewable energy for the student volunteers. The foundation’s mission is to empower youth with disabilities to lead productive lives through increased employment.
“Our company-sponsored solar installation with GRID Alternatives offers a great opportunity to carry out our mission to help youth with disabilities maximize their potential and participation in society,” said Kevin Webb, director of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation.
We’re proud and humbled to offer these students the occasion to provide service to their community.
Ms. Heng said she was impressed with the students’ high level of interest in solar technology.
The students, many of whom are engineering majors, are very knowledgeable about solar modules and systems. I’m confident that this real-world experience will contribute to their excitement about careers in sustainable energy.
One of the students summed up the experience. “This volunteer project helped me to understand the impact of solar energy for homeowners, beyond its impact on the environment. Working on this installation with Mitsubishi Electric and GRID Alternatives has inspired me to explore career opportunities in renewable energy,” stated Will Reese. “It also made my fellow students and me feel good to help this family lower its energy bills for years to come.”
“I want to thank all the volunteers and companies that worked together to donate this solar electric system to our family,” said homeowner Lee Fukui. His wife Mauna Eichner, added, “The cost savings will help to stretch our monthly income. I’m also happy that we’re switching to clean energy.”