AUSTIN, Texas — About 80 Austin-based employee volunteers from global solar innovator, SunPower, brought the transformative power of solar energy to four low-income families in Austin’s Blackland Neighborhood.
Working with national solar nonprofit GRID Alternatives over two days, the volunteers installed four rooftop solar systems totaling 13 kilowatts of generating capacity. The 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.
“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.”
SunPower has partnered with GRID Alternatives since 2006 to extend solar power’s benefits to disadvantaged communities, helping more than 800 families and generating 80,000 hours of solar job training opportunities. SunPower also contributed 1 megawatt of high efficiency solar panels to GRID Alternatives in 2015 to support Solar Futures, a national education initiative targeting high school juniors and seniors.
“This is a meaningful opportunity to provide hands-on support, in addition to our leading technology, to local families in the community where more than 350 SunPower employees live and work,” said Erin Mulligan Nelson, chief marketing officer and executive vice president. “We’re proud that SunPower’s innovative solutions are leading a solar revolution that is changing the way our world is powered.”
SunPower by Freedom Solar, a SunPower Master Dealer recently ranked as one of Texas’ largest solar contractors by Solar Power World Magazine, provided help installing the panels.
“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.”
As one of the world’s most innovative and sustainable energy companies, SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWR) provides a diverse group of customers with complete solar solutions and services. Residential customers, businesses, governments, schools and utilities around the globe rely on SunPower’s more than 30 years of proven experience. From the first flip of the switch, SunPower delivers maximum value and superb performance throughout the long life of every solar system. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, SunPower has dedicated, customer-focused employees in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America. Since 2011, the company has had an office in Austin with about 350 employees.
About GRID Alternatives
GRID Alternatives is America’s largest non-profit solar installer bringing clean energy technology and job training to low-income families and underserved communities through a network of community partners, volunteers, and philanthropic supporters. GRID has installed over 6,300 rooftop solar systems with a combined installed capacity of 22.4 megawatts, saving $167 million in lifetime electricity costs, preventing 480,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and providing over 24,000 people with solar training.