SunPower Corp., a global solar technology and energy services provider, announced a major new philanthropic initiative in partnership with GRID Alternatives, the nation’s largest non-profit solar installer.
The Solar Futures program will expand on GRID Alternatives’ work in high schools, providing both classroom and hands-on solar training to K-14 students, with a focus on high school juniors and seniors.
SunPower is donating 1 megawatt of high efficiency solar panels and inverters – enough to power approximately 300 homes – to underwrite the program and continue the company’s long-time support of GRID Alternatives’ work providing solar power and job training in underserved communities.
"Real change starts with our youth which is why SunPower invests in solar and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education initiatives at schools around the world, helping students experience the technology first-hand and learn about diverse career paths available to them in the growing renewable energy sector," said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO. "We look forward to working with GRID Alternatives on the Solar Futures program, building on our combined expertise bringing solar from rooftops to classrooms."
GRID Alternatives has been providing solar training for high school students in California since 2010. This new investment will help expand that work nationally, with a focus on the Inland Empire region of California where the program got its start. GRID will also develop training materials and resources that can be used for K-14 students in schools nationwide.
"A lot of the students are looking forward to putting the newfound knowledge and skills to use when they graduate, and now have the experience on their resumes while looking for jobs or applying for college," said Laura Gallardo, coordinator of the CORE Academy at Arroyo Valley High School in San Bernardino, which participated in GRID’s program this year.
"Solar education is a double win," said Tim Sears, co-founder and CFO/COO of GRID Alternatives. "It opens up an exciting career path for students, and helps make young people advocates for renewable energy and energy conservation in their communities. We’re thrilled to be partnering with SunPower on this important initiative."