Saturday, September 29, 2012

Solar Doing Good

The other day I discovered that a team from Oakland, California based GRID Alternatives was in Colorado erecting solar PV systems on a dozen Habitat for Humanity homes in Lakewood, Colorado. So, I contacted Stan Greschner, director of GRID Alternatives’ Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program to learn more. 

The GRID Alternatives SASH program began as part of the California Solar Initiative and provides low-cost (and in some cases no cost) PV systems to qualifying low income home owners. But there is more to it than that. GRID also leverages the efforts of numerous volunteers from local businesses, trade schools, and elsewhere in the community who learn about solar and gain skills in erecting PV systems. On the day I visited, Stan told me that they had about 30 workers on site each day, most of whom had never before installed a PV system. 

Stan Greschner with volunteers preparing to install a PV
system on a Habitat for Humanity home in Lakewood, Colorado.
A couple of years ago when I led the effort to develop the rules for Colorado Solar Gardens, Stan came out to help us think through how to incorporate a set aside for low income participants in that program. What came out of that was a requirement that 5% of solar garden capacity must be reserved for low income subscribers. At the time, we spoke of GRID’s hope to expand its program outside of California. With the Habitat homes in Lakewood, Colorado has the first GRID Alternatives project outside of California. I’m told that GRID plans to expand its program in Colorado and open a local office here. 

One of the completed systems at GRID Alternatives'
Lakewood, Colorado project.
What I find most encouraging about this program is that it provides utility assistance to those who need it the most while also training the volunteers who install the systems. And, ratepayer contributions into the renewable energy fund are put to good use… truly a win-win-win for all involved. To learn more about GRID Alternatives and the work they do, check out their website at


  1. Rich:
    Thanks for this report. Indeed win-win-win. Ron

  2. Now the main resource is solar energy,the more researches are going on,a great content indeed.


Please feel free to comment. I welcome your thoughts. However, no anonymous comments. Professional discourse demands that you identify yourself.