California based GRID Alternatives is a non-profit organization that helps low-income families and neighborhoods by training and leading volunteers who install free solar energy systems in needed areas throughout California. The company relies on donations and volunteers to make their mission successful. According to this recent statement, they are going to be getting some big help from Chinese photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer Yingli Green Energy.
Yingli Energy and GRID have forged a partnership that will see to it that 400 low-income families who could use a break on their utility bills will get a shiny new solar energy system installed at their homes. Yingli will donate some of the panels, while the others will be purchased from Yingli at “fair market value”
Yingli says that, once installed, the combined output of the solar systems will generate $10 million worth of renewable energy over the course of their operating lifetime and eliminate approximately 40,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. GRID is pleased because, not only will they be able to provide some much needed relief to local families, the large installation project will provide plenty of opportunities for workers interested in entering the solar workforce to participate and learn valuable trade skills.
In addition to GRID’s training and coordination of volunteers, the organization also manages the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program and the Solar Affordable Housing Program. Since 2004, they’ve managed to install over 800 solar electric systems for low-income Californian families which, together, represent over 1.8 MW of generating capacity.
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