GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles, the largest solar nonprofit in
Southern California, announced today that it would construct multiple solar arrays in March on one of Community Corporation of Santa Monica’s Broadway properties serving low-income residents. The solar photovoltaic system, which adds a significant source of new, clean power to the area’s electrical grid, benefits an important local nonprofit providing housing during a countywide shortage. Utility costs lowered through of the GRID Alternatives installation directly allow Community Corp of Santa Monica to channel more funds into its core mission of providing environmentally sustainable homes for people of modest means.
“I’m pleased that we’re working with CCSM to bring 26 kilowatts DC of solar for affordable housing in Santa Monica,” said Michael Kadish, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives. “If we are going to tackle climate change we need solutions that involve everyone.” Construction on the install begins on March 19 and is available for afternoon media visits by appointment Monday through Friday.
About a dozen members of CCSM, including low-income tenants, will have the opportunity to go on the roof with Solar Installation Supervisors throughout the project and do hands-on construction training. Media access to CCSM’s roof to cover the training is also available; outlets can use visuals from the worksite, photos of modules and inverters, and interviews with installers. GRID Alternatives’ unique workforce development model utilizes multifamily solar construction projects like this one as “classrooms on the roof” where community members interested in careers in solar construction get skills to increase their chances of being hired in the booming industry.
The primary cohort of installers in Santa Monica is made up of L.A. County residents who have experienced homelessness or incarceration. With the March 2018 Santa Monica Homeless County showing a 4% increase in unhoused individuals, and the County as a whole experiencing crisis-level problems meeting the need for permanent shelter, GRID Alternatives training provides not just an important route to living-wage employment, but long-term assistance for affordable housing providers.