Since President Obama announced support affordable home solar power for American, several solar companies have announced programs to support the effort. One of these was PG&E in California. President Obama also announced support for retraining programs for the nation’s veterans in the solar industry to support the rapaid expansion that is expected.
In support of the Obama Administration’s announcement on July 7, 2015 to increase access to solar energy for low- and moderate- income communities, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced a $100,000 commitment to GRID Alternatives to ensure solar is reaching under-served communities throughout Northern and Central California.
Laurie Giammona, senior vice president and chief customer officer for PG&E was quoted as saying:
Throughout our 10 year partnership, PG&E has proudly invested in GRID Alternatives’ efforts to ensure underserved communities have access to solar energy, which is critical to ensuring our clean energy future in California. Together, we are working to support local economic and workforce development, community vitality and continued growth in the solar industry.
The expanded partnership was announced on July 15, at the PG&E and GRID Alternatives Solar Job Fair, held at the Pacific Energy Center in San Francisco. The job fair provides job seekers access to more than 200 open positions from 20 solar industry companies in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. The job fair offers face-to-face meetings with employers, mock interviews, resume reviews and sessions on workforce diversity and information on how to advance in a solar career. The event is timed with Intersolar North America, the country’s largest solar conference with 28,000 expected attendees.
“PG&E has been a key partner in our mission of making renewable energy and related job training accessible to under-served communities. We’re thrilled to continue working with PG&E and our local workforce development partners to connect job trainees with opportunities to access careers in the booming solar industry,” said Zach Franklin, vice president of development and communications for GRID Alternatives.
As part of this year’s grant, PG&E will expand its investment in GRID Alternatives’ SolarCorps program, supporting eight solar installation fellows throughout Northern and Central California. The program, which recently received a major investment from the Corporation for National and Community Service through AmeriCorps, provides motivated individuals the opportunity to join GRID Alternatives for one year to obtain on-the-job service training and preparation for a career in the solar or electric utility industry.
Since 2005, PG&E has provided more than $770,000 to support GRID Alternatives’ efforts. The results of the 10-year partnership between PG&E and GRID Alternatives include:
- PG&E employees have volunteered more than 2,000 hours at GRID Alternatives solar installation builds
- Supported more than 120,000 hours of hands-on solar training for under-served or unemployed Californians
- Backed 23 Solar Fellows through the SolarCorps program
- Solar installations for more than 200 families in partnership with Habitat for Humanity through PG&E’s Solar
- Habitat program
About GRID Alternatives
GRID Alternatives is a non-profit organization that makes renewable energy technology and job training accessible to under-served communities, bringing together community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families. More than 5500 families have benefited from GRID’s work to date, saving $140 million in lifetime electricity costs, and more than 21,600 people have received solar training. GRID Alternatives has ten regional offices and affiliates serving California, Colorado, the New York tri-state region, the mid-Atlantic region, and Tribal communities nationwide. For more information, visit www.gridalternatives.org.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.