GRID Alternatives has been working since 2001 to successfully transition to clean renewable energy for all. Their mission is to make renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities.
Through their unique, people-first model, their programs put money back into families’ pocketbooks, reduces the energy cost burden of housing providers, and jumpstarts careers. In the past few years in Sacramento alone, GRID Alternatives has installed no-cost solar electric systems for 400 families, building a distributed power plant that puts millions of dollars back into the hands of families with the greatest need. All while providing training for nearly a thousand participants in real-world solar installation experience.
How is COVID-19 impacting GRID Alternatives?
The COVID-19 situation has made a significant impact on GRID’s operations as all of their programs involve engagement with homeowners, trainees, and the communities they work in.
They are continuing to engage with homeowners and affordable housing developers to work on aspects of the program that they can make progress on remotely. GRID is cautiously working within the guidelines set out by the CDC and the public health departments to continue their existing project pipeline, however, future project prospects are uncertain, depending on their client and partners’ interest and ability to participate in their solar program.
GRID’s workforce development programs, primarily the Installation Basics Training 200-hour program, has been impacted the most. They had to cancel a cohort midway through the program and it’s unclear when they can resume programming. They were in process to receive accreditation for the curriculum and were developing additional training modules for battery storage and electric vehicle infrastructure installation. This sudden pause in momentum will delay progress in multiple areas of program development.
Without installation and training opportunities, or even at diminished opportunities, it will be a challenge to sustain personnel and overhead.
How Can I Help?
-Emergency gap funding to continue to support staffing for critical organizational functions.
-Guidance on communications strategy for maneuvering through this unique situation.
-Any insights, tools, or best practices for distance learning would also be helpful as we explore ways to continue offering clean energy job training programs remotely.
To provide any of the resouces above, please contact Arianne Ortegaray at email@example.com.
As GRID observes the growing financial uncertainty of individuals and fellow nonprofits, they recognize how much value GRID’s programming can provide in times like these. While many are understandably looking for immediate relief, GRID’s programming and solutions could provide a longer-term solution for many families who will be dealing with the repercussions of COVID-19 for months to come.