Friday, September 21, 2012

installing solar with GRID Alternatives

Yesterday I took a day off working and volunteered with Oakland-based GRID Alternatives. The core of GRID Alternatives is the Solar Affordable Housing Program, where they train and lead community volunteers (like me!) and job trainees from all walks of life to install solar electric systems with low-income homeowners. As part of their mission, they also install the solar panels on Habitat for Humanity houses, which is where my previous experience with GRID has been.

This install was on an existing house, and the technology has changed a bit since I last volunteered (use of microinverters, for example), so I had some new things to learn. That's part of why I enjoy volunteering with GRID is the chance to learn new things. I worked on the ground crew in the morning, assembling pieces and passing things up to the roof. Then after lunch I worked on the roof for a while, helping run conduit from the main panel up to the start of the solar array. It was a fun day. Thanks to installation supervisor Dave Lee and the crew leaders for making things run smoothly and safely.

If you're interested in volunteering with GRID, donating, or want to see if you qualify for an install, check the Grid Alternatives website.

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