Funds Granted to Bring Solar Power,
by Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
PG&E and Grid Alternatives have interconnected solar for nearly 2,500 low-income
households providing local communities an estimated $60 million in energy savings.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is giving $100,000 to Grid Alternatives to make sure solar power makes inroads in "underserved areas" in Northern and Central California, like Vallejo and other parts of Solano and Napa counties, a spokeswoman said.
GRID Alternatives is a national nonprofit that makes renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities, bringing together community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families.
Grid Alternatives spokeswoman Julian Foley, said her firm has installed solar panels in several Solano and Napa county homes since its founding in 2004, and will likely do more in the future. The company also trains people in solar installation and creates jobs.
"In as much as the (PG&E) money supports our programs overall, it will go (to Solano and Napa counties,)" Foley said. "We've done six (installations) in Vallejo, five in Benicia, three in Napa and five in Fairfield."
Grid Alternatives also manages California's low-income rebate program and a new one that works with Cap and Trade proceeds, she said.
"If you own and live in your own home and earn less than 80 percent of area's median income, you may qualify," Foley said. "Also, if your area is considered environmentally disadvantaged or there's a deed restriction on your home so it continues to be available for low income residents, you qualify."
PG&E officials said in a news release that the company is committing the funds in support of the Obama Administration's July 7 announcement, to increase access to solar energy for low- and moderate-income communities.
"Celebrating a decade-long partnership this year and a total investment of $770,000, PG&E and Grid Alternatives have interconnected solar for nearly 2,500 low-income households -- providing local communities an estimated $60 million in energy savings," officials said.
To apply for one-year fellowship positions, go to Gridalternatives.org/jobs, or, for volunteer training positions, go to Gridalternatives.org/volunteer.
Home owners can also to the website at /qualify, to see if they qualify for special solar programs, Foley said.
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