White House Solar Initiative Spotlight: GRID Alternatives SolarCorps Program

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This week we have been taking a closer look at the President’s plan to make solar more accessible. On Tuesday we provided an overview. On Wednesday, we explored how one state was doing its part, and how its Senator wants to do even more. Yesterday we delved into the relationship between sports and solar.  On this, the final day of the series, we turn the focus to an organization that has always been there to lend a hand to those who need it most – AmeriCorps.

There is a branch of AmeriCorps that focuses on providing solar to families in need. It is called, appropriately enough, SolarCorps. The fellowship is provided through GRID Alternatives, and provides 40 AmeriCorps members with solar training and skills.

On Tuesday, an expansion of the program was announced with the White House initiative. Members of the Obama Administration were on site at an installation-in-progress in Baltimore to announce the commitment to solar in low-income communities — including the investment in the SolarCorps program through the Corporation for National and Community Service. Although the CNCS has been a supporter of the GRID Alternatives SolarCorps program since 2006, this week’s announcement highlights a nationwide expansion of the program. SunEdison has committed to matching the funding, which could have a significant impact on the scope of the work that SolarCorps is able to accomplish.

The goals are impressive: by the end of the first year, the SolarCorps members will provide 1500 low-income homes with solar and will help 200 economically disadvantaged individuals gain jobs in the solar industry. Furthermore, at the end of their term of service, the SolarCorps members are expected to find their own employment in the solar industry.

Lofty goals, but GRID Alternatives and their SolarCorps are up to the challenge.

We hope you have enjoyed this look into some of the programs that will contribute to the success of the President’s solar initiative.