A solar power initiative in America is putting communities at the heart of the renewable energy transition.

GRID Alternatives is a non-profit that trains people on low incomes to install the solar technology themselves, for the communities they live in.

Innovators Magazine reported in May that GRID Alternatives had trained around 30,000 people to deliver close on 29 megawatts of solar capacity; providing an equivalent combined saving of $230 million in electric charges.

And now the platform has received a $500,000 grant from the Bank of America to strengthen its SolarCorps Fellowships Program. It provides fellows with a year of paid placements across the States, where they build the skills to pursue a career in renewable energy and pass the knowledge to underserved communities.

“It is critical that we work together to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and ensure more sustainable communities,” explained Alex Liftman, Global Environmental executive at Bank of America. “Through job training and other support this program is creating economic mobility in underserved communities and making a positive difference by reducing energy costs, providing high-growth jobs, and helping to preserve the environment now and for generations to come. We’re excited to support this innovative program.”

The Fellowships are the lifeblood of the venture.

“The SolarCorps program is an incubator for our next generation of leaders, helping to create a clean energy economy that includes and benefits all of our communities,” added GRID Alternatives CEO and Co-founder Erica Mackie. “We’re thrilled to have Bank of America as a strategic partner in this work.”

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