On Saturday July 31st, the Residential Solar 101 team joined about 150 other volunteers for Grid Alternatives’ Solarthon 2010. In the eight hours we were there, the teams worked to install solar panels on nine different houses in West Oakland. On average, each system was 2 kW in size. A total of 18 Kilowatts (kW) of solar generating capacity was installed
It is that time of year again, the sun is shining and solar panels are soaking it up. And Grid Alternatives’ Solarthon on July 31st in the Bay Area is proving to be bigger and better than ever. Solarthon is a solar block party and fundraiser where GRID Alternatives Bay Area will be leading individual and corporate work crews to install solar panels for several low-income families in one neighborhood in one day.
During the past weekend a team of CleanTechies made up of our staff members, friends and blog readers like yourself put our “Think Globally, Act Locally” philosophy into practice during Solarthon 2009. Our team of 15 people spent a partially rain-soaked Saturday to install a solar electric system on a low-income home in a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood located in Oakland, California. The team was organized by CleanTechies over the last month and its members were given the goal of raising almost $5,000 for the privilege of taking part in the event. All this effort was to support the ongoing efforts of a company we’ve raved about many times; GRID Alternatives.
GRID Alternatives is a non-profit organization making solar electric systems a reality for low-income homeowners who otherwise could not afford the systems. GRID does this through an innovative business model where they train volunteers to do everything from designing a system on a sheet of paper to mounting the final panel on a roof. With drastically reduced labor costs, a team of 10-15 volunteers can work slowly and steadily under the guidance of a GRID employee to deliver a complete system at almost half the cost of a typical solar system.
In light of our desire to Think Globally and Act Locally, CleanTechies is raising $5,000 to support GRID Alternatives during Solarthon 2009.
As mentioned in my previous post, Solarthon 2009 will be GRID’s largest event of the year, with plans to install solar electric systems on 16 low-income houses in one community in one day.
In yesterday’s CleanTechies blog post on solar energy careers, I wrote about an innovative non-profit named GRID Alternatives which provides solar electric systems to low income families. CleanTechies is working with GRID Alternatives to support their largest 1 day install ever during Solarthon 2009 which will take place on September 12, 2009 in a community in Oakland, California.
“We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical problem – how to run a sunbeam through a meter” — anonymous
There is a lot of buzz going on these days about the role solar will play in the current clean tech revolution occurring around the world. Many people find solar interesting but don’t know how it works, why it is gaining so much popularity and how they can get involved. Below are some of the resources I have used to make the world of solar easier to understand.
First question to answer: What is solar? For this you should read the wiki description of solar power.
Now that you understand some of the history of solar power, you may want to understand one of the most common ways that solar power is converted into electricity, for this you should read about photovoltaics or PV.
The purpose of the New Leaders Council is to provide emerging progressive leaders with a rigorous 5-month leadership training program that focuses on entrepreneurship, communications and public speaking skills, fundraising, campaign work, new and traditional media, and personal values to shape them into what the NLC calls “political entrepreneurs”.
I had the pleasure of attending the New Leaders Council’s Energy Leadership Awards event at the Minna Gallery on June 15. As the night kicked off, people started trickling in, talking and mingling with the current and former fellows of the New Leaders Council, and soon, the Gallery was filled with conversation and laughter.
If you haven’t heard about GRID Alternatives yet, you probably missed the fundraiser CleanTechies organized for this fabulous non-profit in March. The party was a lot of fun, and we raised over $4,000 for GRID Alternatives that evening. Now, there’s another fundraiser coming up that – and it promises to be another exciting party: There will be dozens of electric vehicles available for viewing and even test drives – including the Tesla Roadster, futuristic prototypes displayed by Stanford and PG&E, plug-in hybrid conversions, motorcycles, scooters, neighborhood electric vehicles and much more. Industry experts will be speaking about current trends in electric-powered transportation, such as:
Thank you to the 200 CleanTechies and friends that came to usher me into my 30’s and raised over $4,000 for GRID Alternatives – an impressive sum for a great night of partying!
Here are a couple of pictures from the night. For many more, please go to photographer and dear friend Philipp Weitz’s website (click on “Galleries”, scroll down to our event, and use “cleantechies” as the password). As you can see, he took some amazing shots of the party, and you can get them printed and sent to you. Bonus of bonuses: He’s donating the proceeds to GRID Alternatives!
|Update: Read Ian’s recap, and check out the pictures of the event here!|
CleanTechies has a strong social mission and is dedicated to supporting individuals and organizations in bringing clean technologies and green energy to more businesses, residences and communities. We are glad to announce that we are supporting GRID Alternatives, a San Francisco Bay Area not-for-profit providing renewable energy and energy efficiency services to communities in need. On March 7, CleanTechies is kicking off its philanthropic activities by hosting a fundraiser party in San Francisco. All proceeds of the event will go to GRID Alternatives. This will be the first in a series of events with a dual purpose, to bring together CleanTech community members in support of local causes and to provide networking opportunities.
Job seekers, chin up! You are not alone. You have company, but you’ll need to have some tenacity because Q1 2009 will not provide you with many easy opportunities. If you are keen on getting a job in renewable energy and you don’t have any experience or situational awareness…. then you had better start getting some or else the 300 former Optisolar employees will get your gig. Optisolar‘s struggle to find additional financing is not unique. In the Bay Area companies that received funding with the expectation of raising another round in late ’08 early ’09 will continue to slash their burn rate by going through the painful process of off loading expensive and experienced workers that they painstakingly researched, hired and trained in previous months.