GRID Alternatives provides solar services

SOLAR PANEL POWER— GRID Alternatives’ workers installing solar panels on a roof on March 19 in Monterey Park. Courtesy of GRID Alternatives

By Alex Avila

GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with people and the environment thorugh solar panel work.

Their goal is to supply lowprofit families with free solar panel installation, helping them save money from the cost of energy. GRID was founded in 2001 by Erica Mackie and Tim Sears.

Their plan is simply to provide free energy from the sun to everyone. GRID has become the nation’s biggest non-profit solar installer; installing over 10,000 different solar panels to different homes and saving up to $329,475,072 for low-income families.

“Install solar panels for families for little to no cost and train people for renewable energy jobs that come with solar’s hiring boom.” said Danny Hom, GRID communications coordinator.

Natalie Soto, an employee of GRID Alternatives, heard about GRID when she was a senior in college. She said she was passionate about the environment, specifically environmental justice, and wanted to make a positive impact.

When introduced to GRID, Natalie said she instantly applied for an internship at GRID Alternatives Inland Empire.

GRID said they are designed to be accessible to everyone, whether getting a job or getting solar panels installed. Natalie states GRIDs overall goal is to “Make renewable energy, technology and job training accessible to underserved communities.”

It is important to GRID and it’s employees that they succeed because it means “bringing a positive impact to people of all walks of life and plans on offering it with low to no cost job training and solar PV.” says Soto

GRID offers internships and careers to those students interested in solar power development and installation. Natalie Soto and Danny Hom started their careers with GRID as students and suggest those interested should do the same. “One thing I learned as a student in college is to make connections and put yourself out there as much as possible.” Soto says “Any adult can apply. Being a student is not a requirement.”

The process for job applications would be to visit

Students can find a listing of current open positions. “For a student who is looking to start a career in renewables or the environment I’d recommend that they look into our SolarCorps program, a program funded by AmeriCorps that is designed for those seeking to launch their career and gain valuable experience.” said Soto.

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