Who We Are

GRID Alternatives vision is a transition to clean, renewable energy that includes everyone. Our mission is to make renewable energy technology and training available to underserved communities.

GRID Alternatives was founded during the 2001 California energy crisis by Erica Mackie, P.E., and Tim Sears, P.E., two engineering professionals who were implementing large-scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for the private sector. The vision that drove them was simple: free, clean electricity from the sun should be available to everyone. Through GRID Alternatives, they developed a model to make solar PV technology practical and accessible for low-income communities that need the savings and jobs the most, yet have the least access. By taking a broader approach to solar as not just an environmental good but also a real-world solution to a real-world economic problem in these communities, GRID Alternatives is helping to set the stage for large-scale solar adoption nationwide.

In 2008, GRID Alternatives was selected by the California Public Utilities Commission to serve as the statewide program manager for its $162 million Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) incentive program, the country's first dedicated solar rebate for low-income families. Thousands of California homeowners have gone solar through GRID Alternatives under this groundbreaking initiative in partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric, and we have integrated workforce development into every project. 

In 2012, GRID Alternatives launched a national expansion with support from Wells Fargo. We began serving Colorado in fall, 2012, and the New York Tri-state area in 2013. In 2014, GRID Alternatives started an international program in Nicaragua through the acquisition of Power to the People, as well as a program to serve Tribal communities across the nation. We will be expanding to serve the Mid-Atlantic region in 2014.

News From the Field

CPUC staffers on the roof
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) staff spend a lot of time thinking about solar these... Read more ›
We're celebrating a renewal and expansion of our partnership with SunPower including a large-scale... Read more ›
GRID led a team of SolarCity volunteers to El Islote, Nicaragua to install solar power on a primary... Read more ›
On May 17th, the five members of GRID’s Climate Ride team depart San Francisco for a four day ride... Read more ›
Solar puns like "you con-du-it!" abounded as University of Vermont and University of Michigan... Read more ›
We held a big party in the heart of downtown San Francisco to celebrate the last ten years of GRID... Read more ›
This past February, GRID Alternatives took a group of volunteers from Sunrun on a powerful journey... Read more ›
Give today, and we'll put your dollars to work tomorrow, making solar energy affordable for... Read more ›
“We wanted to give college students who are passionate about renewable energy the chance to turn... Read more ›
“"I am convinced the only solution we can find to climate change is one that must include women and... Read more ›