Reposted from http://www.greenbiz.com
How to bring solar power to the poor
Like many environmentally friendly products, rooftop solar power is a luxury that most Americans can’t afford: Before subsidies, it costs tens of thousands of dollars to power a typical house.*
GRID Alternatives, an Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit, is trying to change that — and is making headway.
Launched in 2004, GRID Alternatives has grown along with the solar industry. This year, it expects to install solar on the rooftops of about 1,000 California homes owned by low-income people. It has seven offices, a staff of about 100 and a budget of about $25 million. The organization will soon expand to Colorado and beyond.
GRID Alternatives relies on volunteers, panels donated or sold at low cost by the solar industry, subsidies from the state of California and donations to make the model work. “It’s a barn raising model,” says Erica Mackie, the co-founder and executive director. Read Full Story