People. Planet. Employment.
We help low-income families save money, protect the planet, and support employment all through solar power.Learn more
GRID Alternatives helps low-income families save money while bringing clean solar energy onto the grid, and providing volunteers and job seekers with hands-on experience in solar. Since 2011, we've been helping families go solar throughout northern California. Find out how you can get involved!
North Valley NewsSee all news
- Every day at GRID Alternatives we work to provide hands-on training for those interested in working in… Read more
- This November in Woodland, more than a dozen high school and college students worked together to install… Read more
- GRID Alternatives is bringing energy education into the classroom, and students into the field, across… Read more
- Rich Gordon is one of those volunteers that every non-profit hopes to have. He is dedicated, passionate,… Read more
- Crystal and William Brady of Oroville, CA are the proud new owners of a solar system thanks to GRID Alternatives,… Read more
- Fall is a time for change. The North Valley regional office is no exception. Each year in September,… Read more
- Through a partnership with Sierra College, the North Valley office hosted a faculty externship in Grass… Read more
- This October, GRID Alternatives is energizing Rocklin with a Solarthon event, raising funds for and awareness… Read more
- A little can go a long way. GRID Alternatives' homeowners are giving back- helping more families in… Read more
SolarCorp Staff gets Ongoing Education Opportunities
Every day at GRID Alternatives we work to provide hands-on training for those interested in working in the solar energy field. The commitment to teaching is not only for our volunteers, but also for our SolarCorps Fellows, individuals who spend a year in service with GRID Alternatives in exchange for learning opportunities that will help jump-start their careers. This year, construction fellows Kaly Moore and Jenka Terentieva, and Volunteer Coordinator Alex Volzer from the North Valley regional office, joined a dozen other GRID Alternatives fellows from around the state to camp in yurts and spend five days learning about sustainability and renewable energy at the Solar Living Institute in Hopland, CA.
The Solar Living Institute manages a 12-acre renewable energy and sustainable living demonstration site that offers alternative energy fueling stations, organic gardens, sustainable architecture, and workshops and courses on solar energy. Fellows spent the first few days learning the fundamentals of electricity and system design, and the second half of the week getting hands-on installation skills in both battery based and grid-tied solar systems.
The 40 hour course allows SolarCorp fellows to learn more about the technical details of solar installation and design, and prepares them for the NABCEP installers exam. For the construction fellows, it means a deeper understanding of their day-to-day work. For the volunteer training and other fellows, it means being able to provide a more comprehensive volunteer training and orientation, and being able to address the many questions asked by interested volunteers, job trainees and supporters. And for everyone, it was a great chance to bond as a team. For SolarCorp job openings, visit www.gridalternatives.org/jobs.
Woodland Students Install Solar Energy System
This November in Woodland, more than a dozen high school and college students worked together to install solar for a local elderly woman. This is the first of a number of installs in Yolo County that will engage youth in energy service learning projects in their community, thanks to the support of a number of local governments, Yolo County Office of Education and Woodland Community College.
The partnership pairs GRID Alternatives' mission to provide utility savings to low income families, with the Office of Education's Project SOLAR, an initiative to bring real-world applications and hands-on experience to students in alternative energy technology, and the College's program to provide professional development for STEM students.
"GRIDs projects not only build on classroom education for students, but show students the value of their contributions."
We want every aspiring young STEM professional to have the opportunity for meaningful exposure to the growing energy industry, through service. The North Valley is currently seeking sponsor and supporters to serve more students, and more families in Yolo County. You can support our work by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Youth Get Energy Education
The U.S. is expected to have more than 1.2 million job openings in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related occupations by 2018. To prepare local youth for science-related careers, GRID Alternatives brings energy education into the classroom, and students out into the field to learn about energy technology.
California is expected to lead the nation with the greatest number of these jobs, and by a large margin. Inspiring youth and giving them exposure to energy careers, GRID is working with a number of high school and college academic programs across the northstate.
Our installations provide meaningful service learning projects to students. Students like William Cortez, whose internship with GRID Alternatives, funded by a grant through Constellation, has given him an edge on his studies. "GRID Alternatives has given me a real grasp of how circuits work," William says. With our academic partners, students can learn about the basics of solar technology, and work alongside professionals to help install solar for a local family in need. The projects provide students real-world experience in energy technology, help to deepen student's their awareness of STEM careers and build core competencies.
In 2013, our North Valley academic partners include groups like Yolo County Office of Education, and Woodland and Butte Community College MESA (Math Engineering and Science Achievement) programs, and Sierra College. Local funding from City of Woodland and City of Davis is providing support for our Yolo County education program. Our Butte County program is currently supported through an education grant from Constellation.
GRID Alternatives' program energizes youth and empowers them to bring the benefits of solar technology to communities in need. Interested in working with or supporting our academic enrichment projects in the North Valley? Contact us today!
Rich Gordon is one of those volunteers that every non-profit hopes to have. He is dedicated, passionate, and volunteers.... a LOT. In fact, in just over a year, he has put in over 450 hours of volunteer time, including time at two Solarthons and becoming the star Team Leader in the GRID Alternatives North Valley office.
Last July, Rich saw a call for volunteers in an ad in a local newspaper. He liked the idea of what we are doing and thought it would be interesting, especially since he has a career in electrical work but had never worked in solar before. After a few weeks he was hooked. According to Rich, "I love the camaraderie and hanging out with the other volunteers and getting the job done. To be able to give back and change peoples lives is just great."
It didn't take long for Rich to become a Team Leader, which means that he has demonstrated not only that he has mastered a set of 17 skills but can teach them too. Despite being able to do it all, it is quite common to find Rich in his bright orange Team Leader t-shirt by the electrical box and inverter, teaching others about how to wire it up.
Throughout his time here, he has already had quite a few fun and unique opportunities. According to Rich, Solarthon in Chico last year has been the highlight so for. But there has also been some stories to tell, like working in 100+ heat in Redding or experiencing an install in Yuba City with a tile roof. Just a few weeks ago, Rich also joined us in Rocklin as an honorary staff member for Solarthon 2013 where he took charge of the central inverters at three of the four houses. Rich has been there with a big smile and enthusiasm, easy to get along with nature, and as a great Team Leader.
Thanks Rich for all you do!
Beyond Conservation and Efficiency
Crystal and William Brady of Oroville, CA are the proud new owners of a solar system thanks to GRID Alternatives, a team of local volunteers, and a helpful friend.
Energy has been a big topic in the Brady household. While Crystal Brady is a stay at home mom of three, William Brady works hard for the Community Action Agency of Butte County leading eight teams to install energy efficiency and weatherization measures for other low-income households. Needless to say, the Brady’s are energy efficient and conservative with energy use at home, but their utility costs are still very high. William has dreamed of adding solar to their home, but the cost was too prohibitive. After a friend received a solar system with GRID Alternatives, the Brady’s looked into it for themselves.
The Brady’s wanted to go solar for the same reason many of the other GRID homeowners wish to go solar: To help the environment while having a little more money at the end of each month. “Its a great program, and it’s wonderful that its available to others in this community!” said Crystal. “Now all of our neighbors are wondering how to get one.”
The Brady’s new 22 panel system will save them $47,268 over the life of the systems, and divert 148 tons of greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere! That is equivalent to taking 26 cars off the road for a year and planting more than 3490 trees!
New North Valley Staff!
Fall is a time for change. The North Valley regional office is no exception. Each year in September, we greet a new group of enthusiastic job trainees beginning their year-long fellowship program with GRID Alternatives.
The transition is bitter sweet, as we say goodbye to last year’s incredible fellows, Nicole Farquhar, Scott Deter and Bobby De La Cruz.
Taking over as the North Valley Volunteer and Training Fellow is Alex Volzer. In addition to being a certified Massage Therapist, Alex worked for several years running canvassing offices and fundraising teams for a non-profit dedicated to causes including alternative energy. His work with solar doesn’t stop there. Alex also built the marketing department for a solar start-up from scratch; hiring, training, and managing a canvassing team to generate leads. Alex’s experience fits terrifically with his role of recruiting and managing volunteers for our installation projects each month.
This year, Jenka Terentieva and Kaly Moore join our Construction Department as our SolarCorps Construction Fellows. Jenka has been a star volunteer with GRID from our first installation out of the North Valley office. She was a Special Projects Intern in 2011 helping organize Solarthon 2012 and then lead a Women’s Build team. At over 500 volunteer hours on our installations her expertise as a Ground and Roof Team Leader will be tremendously helpful to our Installation Supervisors and volunteers on the job site!
Kaly comes to us with experience with Youth for Change and the California Conservation Corps. Kaly is an inspired poet who wishes to see the world live in independence and sustainability from their own two hands. Her abundance of abundance of energy and enthusiasm is a great addition to our friendly construction team, and will come in handy as the North Valley installs nearly 100 systems throughout the year!
Ann Fox joins our office as our new Outreach Coordinator. Ann brings over 20 years of business management, including Order & Contract management for PeopleSoft software and the past ten years managing real estate transactions. When not in the office, Ann volunteers and serves on the Board for a community theatre and is co-director and CFO for the Chico Beard Collective which raises money for high schools’ arts programs. A new permanent staff member, we look forward to Ann’s expertise in real estate and skill with client services to support our local agency partnerships and assist our clients.
We are delighted to have everyone on board. We look forward to working with this new team of amazing people!
Sierra College Partners with GRID for Applied Math Curriculum!
Through a partnership with Sierra College, the North Valley office hosted a faculty externship in Grass Valley for math professors on August 6 & 7. GRID worked with the professors to learn more about math applications in the solar industry. The purpose of externships are to give professors contemporary answers to the age old question of “When will I ever use math in real life?”
The externship was comprised of a two day installation with the math faculty team, and a classroom session to review mathematics involved in the design and installation process. “Now, I can show students pictures and math involved with trying to figure out derating (a calculation used to find the efficiency of a solar panel) so the panels can sustain as much energy as possible” said Nevada County campus Math Professor Vicki Day, “we’re really excited to have this opportunity.”
The externship is another example of how the gift of solar with GRID keeps on giving. The two families will save more than $55,000 from their systems and divert 175 tons of greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere. Math faculty will share with many more students practical and contemporary math applications for the solar industry. The experience was a win for everyone involved; a unique and meaningful service-learning experience for professors in real-world technology applications, and a long-lasting gift to two single mothers in need.
For information on how your team can benefit from a similar experience contact Rebekah at email@example.com
Solarthon 2013 in Rocklin, CA!
This October, GRID Alternatives is energizing Rocklin with a Solarthon event, raising funds for and awareness of our work around the North Valley. Join us in Rocklin October 3rd and 4th for two days of solar installation and special events. Help bring the power of the sun to families in need!
Solar brings immediate and long-term energy cost savings to families living with low incomes. Savings that can keep homeownership affordable and families on their feet. Families like the Barsukov family, who immigrated to the US from Russia 15 years ago to provide a better life for their family. By the time they arrived in America through a 10-year immigration process, they had 4 young children in tow.
The Barsukov's worked for years, saving money to stabilize their future by owning their own home. Ten years ago, the Barsukov's won a lottery to build their Rocklin home through sweat-equity program with Mercy Housing and the City of Rocklin. Taking great pride in their home ownership, the Barsukov's have done their best to make their home energy efficient and to conserve. Energy efficiency combined with solar will help the Barsukov's save for their children's college educations, and to provide for their own safety net for their family's future.
Support the future security of the Baruskov's and many more families throughout the region. RSVP for site tours, a networking luncheon at Rubino's Ristorante and a happy-hour at Cafe Delicias. Sponsorship opportunities are still available! Visit our Solarthon page for more information on how to register or sponsor a home. http://www.solarthon.org/northvalley