SunPower worked with U.S.’s national nonprofit organization GRID Alternatives to install solar arrays atop rooftops of four low-income families in Austin’s Blackland Neighborhood. 80 Austin-based employee volunteers from SunPower helped installations of the totaling 13kW solar systems.
"We are really appreciative of the help," said Bo McCarver, Board President of Blackland CDC. "Thanks to the assistance of GRID Alternatives and SunPower, we're able to provide electricity cost savings to struggling families."
The 13kW of generating systems are expected to save each family electricity costs and collectively reduce approximately 233 tons of greenhouse gas emissions over their expected 25-year life. The four homes are among 48 affordable homes built by the Blackland Community Development Corporation (CDC) to serve low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities.
Such a charity partnership between SunPower and GRID Alternatives has been sustained since 2006. The main purpose of the partnership is to extend solar power’s benefits to needy people by saving electricity bills, supplying self-owned power resources, and getting trained for solar job opportunities.
"These installations highlight the positive economic impacts that solar can generate for families struggling to pay their monthly bills, put food on their table or save for their children's futures," said Erica Mackie, co-founder and CEO of GRID Alternatives. "We're thrilled to be here in Austin with SunPower, our longest-running philanthropic partner, helping its employees make a real impact in their own backyard."
In addition to charitable donations of solar systems, SunPower also contributed 1MW of high efficiency solar modules to GRID Alternatives in 2015 to support an educational initiative, Solar Futures, which targets high school juniors and seniors.