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GoGreenSolar Supports Grid Alternatives’ SolarThon

Los Angeles community receives free solar energy, courtesy of Grid Alternatives and GoGreenSolar. This week, brand new solar panels are glittering in the quiet neighborhood of Willowbrook, Los Angeles. The panels will generate thirty one kilowatts of locally-produced energy and save home owners over three hundred thousand dollars over a twenty five year period. How much did the panels cost the home owners? Nothing. Grid Alternatives, a California-based non-profit group, hosts SolarThons across multiple cities where volunteers come together to fight foreclosures, unemployment, and pollution by providing free solar electric systems to low-income families. “Low-income families pay a much higher percentage of their income on electricity than the average household and our solar electric systems will reduce each homeowner’s monthly energy costs by an average of 80% which will help these families stay in their homes,” says Myshel Prasad, Development Officer at GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles. Grid Alternatives relies on donated time and money to accomplish its charitable work. This SolarThon, GoGreenSolar.com donates both. “We’re happy to support energy independence, especially to those most in need,” says Deep Patel, CEO of GoGreenSolar.com. Patel, who has volunteered with Grid Alternatives for several years, also finds Grid Alternatives a great place to scout employees. “The people who volunteer with Grid Alternatives have good hearts and proven technical competence,” says Patel. One such recruit is Dave Donaldson, a GoGreenSolar.com engineer also known as “Purple Dave” to the Grid Alternatives community. “I volunteer because it’s nice to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who are willing to donate their time to help advance the impact of solar, especially for local low-income families,” says Donaldson. Purple Dave has donated his time to more than 30 solar system installs. “Grid Alternatives and GoGreenSolar.com share a similar mission.  We’re both here to improve the quality of human life through renewable energy solutions,” says Patel. “We look forward to turning more of our team’s energy into solar energy in the coming years.” About GoGreenSolar.com: GoGreenSolar.com is a value added supplier of green energy products, services, technical support and financing to help you go green. As a licensed C-10 contractor, GoGreenSolar.com has helped guide home owners, contractors, businesses, and utilities through the entire solar installation process. From purchasing parts to designing the solar system to generating the first kilowatt of energy, the team at GoGreenSolar.com is on a mission to give back and change the world with renewable, sustainable energy. Join us! About Grid Alternatives: GRID Alternatives’ mission is to empower communities in need by providing renewable energy and energy efficiency services, equipment and training. We believe making energy choices that are good for the environment can go...

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Volunteer with GRID Alternatives!

Established in 2001, GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit organization that provides low income communities access to solar energy.  GRID Alternatives was founded by two engineers who are driven to make clean energy accessible to the low-income communities that need solar energy the most.  The people at GRID Alternatives are on a mission “to empower communities in need by providing renewable energy and energy efficiency services, equipment and training.” In addition to helping families produce their own solar energy, GRID Alternatives provides a unique educational experience for its volunteers.  Unemployed and underemployed individuals from the community are encouraged to cultivate a valuable skill-set through volunteer and team leader programs. By working on installations for the Solar Affordable Housing Program, volunteers get hands-on experience and networking opportunities that they couldn’t get anywhere else.  Through GRID’s Team Leader program, volunteers have the opportunity to become certified PV installers with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.   A GRID volunteer can use this real-world experience to get their foot in the door of businesses in the solar industry. The unique environment created by GRID Alternatives draws in people from all walks of life. Environmental activists, students, engineers, and professionals in the solar industry are just some of the people that volunteer with this nonprofit organization.  Everyone comes together to help the community, learn new skills, reduce CO2 emissions, and sweat bullets in the California sun. I recently had the opportunity to go on a volunteer installation with GRID Alternatives.  The mission was to install a 2.3 kW AC system for a low income home in Long Beach, California. The first day of the installation began at 8:30 am on a overcast Tuesday morning.  Shortly after the last volunteers arrived, we introduced ourselves and the project supervisor went over some basic safety precautions. While the ground team was busy prepping and splicing the ProSolar rails, several of us got up on the roof to determine how the array could be configured in compliance with the regulations in the city of Long Beach.  As the morning clouds burned off, we quickly realized that the sun would not spare us.  After taking measurements and marking the lay-out that was established by GRID team leaders, we drilled into the rafters where the ProSolar FastJack Stand-offs would soon be mounted.  Around each hole that was drilled, we cut a few inches of the surrounding roof to make room for the flashing.  After bolting the base of the standoff with caulking and inserting the flashing under the top layer of the roof, we screwed in the ProSolar FastJack Stand-off.  We then sealed a fitted washer over the flashing...

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solar panels + grid alternatives = fun

I had a great weekend volunteering for GRID Alternatives to install solar panels for a low income family in Lynwood, CA. For those of you who don’t know GRID Alternatives, they’re a non-profit who’s on a mission to empower communities in need by providing renewable energy and energy efficiency services, equipment and training. Since 2001, GRID Alternatives has been working to bring the power of solar electricity and energy efficiency to low-income homeowners, and to provide community members with training and hands-on experience with renewable energy technologies. GRID Alternatives believes making energy choices that are good for the environment can go hand-in-hand with improving the lives of those living in low-income communities. It took Anna and Alan, experienced Grid Alternatives staff and the team of volunteers two full days at to complete the installation of the 1.4 kW solar electric system which consisted of 7 Canadian Solar 200 watt (CS6PE) solar panels, a PVPowered 2000 watt (PVP2000) grid tie inverter and Pro Solar mounting hardware. The most difficult part of installing the solar panels over the detached garage was working on the concrete s-tile roof. These are very delicate type of roof tiles, walking on them without breaking them is impossible, it’s like walking on egg shells. It took us extra time to replace all the roofing s-tile shingles that were damaged in the process. The hot Southern California climate did not spare us over the weekend, during the afternoon the s-tiles shingles became extremely hot making it even more difficult and uncomfortable to get the mounting hardware installed. Before the 6 inch standoffs were installed and sealed with silicon, the fast jacks needed to be attached to the rafters of the detached garage. Also each penetrations needed flashing to ensure they are water tight. Locating the rafters in a building and making sure you’re drilling into them is a challenging part of installing solar panels. Once the standoffs were in place the roof team was ready for the rails which were assembled on the ground. We had to cut the Pro Solar Rails to size and have them prepared for the roof team to secure to the stand offs. There are many components involved with putting the rails together, which could be confusing if you don’t have all your parts organized. After the rails were passed on from the ground to the roof, they were immediately attached to the standoffs. Once we got the rails secured to the standoffs, it was time to get the solar panels mounted on top of the rails. It was easier to get the solar panels mounted to the rails because we had...

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Grid Alternatives donates solar power

There is a great group out there called Grid Alternatives based out of Northern California that raises money for a solar power installation for a low income residents of California. The group established an office out in Los Angeles area a few months ago and I have been informed that they have secured an installation for a low income family in El Monte, California….the installation will not make it easier for one family to lower their operating overhead, but the donated solar power system will give others the opportunity to get their hands dirty on a solar power installation. The great part of this service is that it trains and get the public excited about solar and hopefully some of the volunteer installers who get a chance to be part of the project end up relieving the industry with the lack of workforce problem. Grid Alternatives kills two birds with one stone by exposing solar and developing a qualified workforce for the industry. For more information:...

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