Theory into practice!
On December 11th and 12th, 10 students from the green energy manufacturing academy of Ceres High School turned theory into practice by installing their first solar electric system in the city of Livingston.Read more!
Thank you Rabobank!
Rabobank Branch Manager Bill William presented $10,000 to help two local families go solar with GRID!Read more
GRID Alternatives Central Valley leads teams of volunteers and job trainees in installing solar electric systems for low-income families living in San Joaquin County to the north through Kern County in the south. Our mission is to empower communities in need by providing renewable energy and energy services, equipment and training.
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- Workers from various Fresno branches of Bank of America volunteered and helped install solar power on… Read more
- Meet the Reed family. Life has been a struggle the last several years for this Visalia family. Scott… Read more
- Students in the green energy manufacturing academy at Ceres High School got out of the classroom and… Read more
- On Tuesday,February 5, 2013, Bill Williams, Branch Manager at Rabobank's office located in Reedley,California… Read more
- On December 11th and 12th, 10 students from the green energy manufacturing academy of Ceres High School… Read more
- On September 27 and 28th, workers from Wal-Mart distribution center in Porterville came out into the… Read more
- Meet Josh Flowers. He is the father of two children and has a beautiful wife. Life has been hard for… Read more
- At 90-plus degrees, Saturday was a sweaty day for the third annual GRID Alternatives Central Valley Solarthon,… Read more
Bank of America volunteers install solar on Fresno home
Workers from various Fresno branches of Bank of America volunteered and helped install solar power on a home in South West Fresno. The solar project not only had a meaningful and positive impact in the community, but also for the workers at Bank of America.
Branch manager, Eddie Zamora, said “this experience gives my colleagues an opportunity to give back to the community that they live and work in, learn new skills, and network with others that are interested in community service.” For Eddie, the volunteer experience reminded him of the time in his childhood when his family was in need of assistance from nonprofit organizations. “It is rewarding to volunteer and help a family in need, while at the same time recalling a time in my life were organizations helped my family", said Eddie Zamora.”
Nancy Lopez, the customer service manager at Bank of America's call center, helped install eighteen SunTech Power modules onto the roof. Nancy found the use of power tools fun to use and the volunteer work meaningful. “It was heartwarming to see how happy the homeowners were and to know that Bank of America volunteers made a difference in this family’s life,” said Nancy.
The solar electric system installed during this community service project, is projected to produce over $36,432 worth of renewable energy for the Moua family over the system’s lifetime, and eliminate over 228,000 pounds of carbon emissions. The home owner Yor Moua said, “our solar system will help us save money for a longtime, and will help us save for our three children and maybe even their grandchildren.
Click here to view the photo album of the install
Getting the Reed family a needed "win"
Meet the Reed family. Life has been a struggle the last several years for this Visalia family. Scott Reed wanted to share his family’s story and spread his appreciation for GRID Alternatives.
My name is Scott Reed, I am originally from Philadelphia and I am currently a Chief in the United States Navy. I have been in the Navy for over 12 years and have been stationed in Lemoore, California for the last 10 years.
My wife’s name is Meyling; we have been married for 10 years. We have a nine year old daughter named Alisa. In 2008 Meyling was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and doctors removed the tumor. But, in October 2010 Meyling was re diagnosed with breast cancer only this time it migrated to her lower spinal cord. The doctors told us that they cannot remove the cancer from her spine and that it is terminal. In the last eight months, Meyling has had two back surgeries to prevent her spine from collapsing. Meyling is on heavy medication and is unable to get around on her own and needs assistance to get out of bed and to perform most normal tasks.
The system from GRID Alternatives will help ease some of the financial strain from medical bills that has been put on our family.
Fortunately, the Reed family heard about GRID Alternatives from a family friend and decided to pick up the phone to call the GRID Alternatives Central Valley office. The family soon received the call they were anticipating, and qualified through the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes program administered by GRID Alternatives. “We needed a win, my wife is real sick, and it was a sigh of relief to hear we would receive solar and how it would relieve a tremendous amount stress from bills,” said Scott Reed.
Scott helped install the solar electric system with Proteus students that are studying coursework in solar. The students gained valuable job training skills installing 16 SunPower panels and an SMA America inverter, while taking part in a project that would help ease the financial strain from medical bills on the Reed family. The family is very thankful for GRID Alternatives, its volunteers, and all its supporters.
Click here to view the photo album of the install
High School students gain experience installing solar power
Students in the green energy manufacturing academy at Ceres High School got out of the classroom and onto a rooftop to install solar power. This was the second installation that Ceres High school completed in the city of Livingston in conjunction with the Central Valley GRID Alternatives office.
Hellen Valle and Lizzy Magna, both seniors at Ceres High School, helped wire the inverter where direct current is converted to alternating current electricity. Hellen and Lizzy are sports enthusiasts and very active on campus. Hellen is on the swim team and Lizzy plays tennis on the varsity team. “In tennis we often play doubles and it requires a lot of communication with your tennis partner, said Lizzy. “By working as a team to install the inverter it tested and improved my communication skills."
The installation took place at the home of the Guzman family. Raul Guzman works on a farm and Ana Guzman is a stay at home mom who takes care of the children: Benjamin is eleven years old, David is eight years old, and Marilyn is four years old. The oldest child, Benjamin, was born with cerebral palsy and Ana takes close care of him. “Now he is doing better with therapy,” Ana Guzman said.
Raul Guzman took time off work to help the students with the installation. “The work of GRID Alternatives and the volunteers will help me better provide for my family, save money, and contribute to a cleaner environment,” said Raul Guzman. “Thank you for everyone that contributes to these solar projects and for the impact it has on families like mine,” said Raul Guzman.
Click here to view pictures of the install.
Rabobank Provides GRID Funding
On Tuesday, February 5, 2013, Bill Williams, Branch Manager at Rabobank's office located in Reedley,California presented $10,000 to Tom Esqueda, Regional Manager, GRID Alternatives Central Valley to support local families in obtaining solar systems on their homes. GRID's Partnership with Rabobank started in 2012 and has helped families in Reedley reduce electrical utility costs as well as provide job training experience for local residents.
Click here to read an article from the Reedley Exponent about the grant!
Ceres High School turns theory into practice
On December 11th and 12th, 10 students from the green energy manufacturing academy of Ceres High School turned theory into practice by installing their first solar electric system in the city of Livingston.
The system was installed for the Guzman family who, due to medical issues, uses more electricity than a typical family. “With the savings from solar, we can now more easily pay our bills,” said Mrs. Guzman. Families save on average $1,100 per year from their system installed by the Central Valley GRID Alternatives office.
The high school students, studying renewable energy right now, gained real-world installation experience by successfully installing 16 SunPower modules and an SMA central inverter. Student Izzy Villa helped wire the SMA inverter and said her favorite aspect of volunteering was “working together as a team to complete the project and knowing that it would help the homeowner.” Their professor, Chris Van Meter, said, “Partnering with GRID Alternatives gives students the opportunity to get out and into the community to participate in a practical application of what they learn in the classroom.
Click here to see pictures from the install!
Walmart volunteers help family go solar
On September 27 and 28th, workers from Wal-Mart distribution center in Porterville came out into the community to help install a solar electric system on a local home.
“As we looked around the neighborhood, we realized that quite a few families had already received the benefit of solar through GRID Alternatives,” said Kent Delperdang, General Manger of the Visalia Wal-Mart region who was one of the volunteers at the installation. ”It was really satisfying knowing that we were helping expand this to another family in the area.”
Wal-Mart has been a long-time supporter of GRID Alternatives, donating over $100,000 since 2008, including a $30,000 grant in 2012. Its employees have also volunteered in installations statewide.
The Aldaco family was grateful to GRID and the Wal-Mart volunteers for helping them go solar. “The savings from these solar panels mean I can spend more time with my wife and two daughters,” said Rodolfo Aldaco
Pursuing the American dream
Meet Josh Flowers. He is the father of two children and has a beautiful wife. Life has been hard for this Central Valley family in the last few years and Josh wanted to share his story to give others hope. He is thankful for GRID Alternatives, its volunteers and supporters.
We are the Flowers family. We are super excited – we just purchased my parent’s old home, it was the home I grew up in.
The past four years have been difficult on my wife and I – we thought we were living the American dream when we purchased our first home. Unfortunately, we are one of the many families that suffered from the housing bubble and ended up losing everything.
Although I wanted to continue to fight for our dream, I knew we had to rebuild our finances so we moved into my parent’s home. We decided we did not want our home to ever be taken away from us again so we built a house for cash. My father and I set out on a mission to build a house on his property. It took a year and a half of hard work, but we were very proud of our accomplishments.
We received word that the home passed inspection and were excited to move in….. Unfortunately, shortly after, we received a different letter that showed the property our new home was built on had a foreclosure notice. We learned the hard way that when you build a home for cash, the county does not check the recorded deed before issuing permits. For the second time, the bank took our home.
So here we were back to square one – all the time, money and resources invested in our second home gone. Aeound the same time, my parents were selling their house because they needed to downsize. I grew up in this home which was built by Porteville College in 1989. It is an older home and requires a lot of Tender Loving Care; my dad told me the energy bills were too high for them. When he told me the monthly amount, my mouth dropped and I realized I could not afford the bills. But thanks to GRID Alternatives, my family and I will be able to keep the house. I am very grateful for their program and for all the volunteers and donors who make this happen. Thank you all.
The Flowers family had their system installed in October 2012. Josh is looking forward to his kids growing up in the same home he did and sharing memories with them.
Solarthon 2012 a blazing success!
At 90-plus degrees, Saturday was a sweaty day for the third annual GRID Alternatives Central Valley Solarthon, but for the families of Parksdale, it was a happy one. Thanks to the hard work of over 100 individual sponsors, corporate employee volunteers, job trainees and the homeowners themselves, the families’ electrical meters will be running backward this summer, not forward, saving them thousands of dollars during what is usually a season of high bills.
“I’m just happy for this moment, this day,” said Esmeralda Avila, a single mother of four who helped cook breakfast for the whole crew. “The solar system will help us save on our electricity bill, and the savings will go towards my children’s college fund to prepare them for a better future.”
Esmeralda and her neighbors built this community from the ground up, through the non-profit housing organization Self-Help Enterprises. She’s an administrative assistant, but many of the other families make their livings as farm workers, picking cherries, grapes and almonds. Taking volatile electricity bills out of the mix makes it that much easier to get by during the off season.
“It feels good to be part of something like this and help homeowners to save on their monthly bills,” said Tyler Medel, a PG&E solar technician whose whole team was out volunteering for the day on a house sponsored by their company. “I have solar on my house and I know how much it helps me so I know it will greatly help these families out.”
We’d like to thank everyone who came out on Saturday—the homeowners, whose generosity and enthusiastic participation inspired us all; GRID Alternatives official module providers SunPower and Yingli Solar, who donated their sponsored houses to solar job trainees from Proteus; Statewide Sponsors Wells Fargo and PG&E; Megawatt Sponsors Schneider Electric, Lifestyle Solar and Proteus; Kilowatt Sponsors Real Goods Solar and Modesto Junior College and Basic Sponsors REC Solar and Verengo Solar, whose team kept everyone cool and hydrated throughout the day; our in-kind sponsors; and our 10 Solar Champions who fundraised individually to participate in the event.
We’d also like to send a special thank-you to our guest speakers, including Congressman Jim Costa and Madera County Supervisor Max Rodriguez. Check out photos from the event!