GRID Alternatives honors Wells Fargo

By Krista Van Tassel
March 7th, 2014

Last night, GRID Alternatives honored Wells Fargo at its 10th Anniversary celebration in San Francisco. Barry Neal, head of Environmental Finance for Wells Fargo, proudly accepted the award on behalf of the company. Alongside the Wells Fargo team, the city of San Francisco, California Public Utilities Commission, and Pacific Gas & Electric Company also were honored at the event, where many supporters gathered to celebrate 10 years of great work bringing solar energy to underserved communities.

GRID photo edited version

Barry Neal (far left), Head of Environmental Finance at Wells Fargo, accepts an award with other honorees at GRID Alternatives 10th anniversary event.

In case you didn’t know, since 2007, Wells Fargo team members have contributed more than 1,800 volunteer hours to GRID Alternatives, while also helping and exploring innovative financing models to help the nonprofit deploy more residential solar systems. Seven years ago, Wells Fargo donated $600,000 to help GRID Alternatives expand from one office to seven offices throughout California. Then, we really got down to business in 2012, when Wells Fargo made a $2 million commitment to help bring clean, affordable solar energy to underserved communities in other states nationwide.

In 2012, GRID expanded to Colorado. And, last year they expanded to New Jersey and New York. Wells Fargo volunteers participated in 12 Solarthon projects last year in California, Colorado., New York, and New Jersey to install residential solar systems in collaboration with communities and local organizations. We estimate that Wells Fargo volunteers (and friends and family) contributed more than 530 volunteer hours in 2013 to support GRID Alternatives Solarthons and builds.

As a result, in 2013, the total number of homes that received solar energy systems was:

  • California = 1021;
  • Colorado= 22;
  • New York / New Jersey =7

The systems installed in 2013 will generate about $29 million in energy savings for the families over the next 30 years in California, Colorado, New York and New Jersey.

During 2013, 1,050 families (or approximately 2,940 individuals) received solar energy systems with the help of GRID, Wells Fargo, and our community and philanthropic partners. In addition, GRID provided more than 64,000 hours of hands-on training to community members and job trainees. GRID Alternatives had more than 2,568 distinct volunteers participate in our program during 2013 (many working on multiple projects). Thanks to Wells Fargo’s support of our Green Jobs Partnership Program in California, the organization worked with more than 70 job training organizations throughout the state, providing more than 180 private solar workday trainings for their students.

Along with the private field trainings for workforce development partners, GRID Alternatives’ Subcontractor Partnership Program (SPP) requires that  for profit solar subcontractors hire at least one local job trainee for each GRID Alternatives project. As a result, during 2013, 341 paid work opportunities were created for job trainees.

So, with these results you can imagine how proud we are of this award and our work to support GRID Alternatives. We can’t imagine what will happen in another 10 years. Congratulations on 10 wonderful years GRID!

We’d love to hear your thoughts about solar energy. Please share your suggestions in the comments field below.

Tags:   energy   GRID award   solar   
Krista Van Tassel

Krista Van Tassel

As Community and Team Member Engagement manager for Wells Fargo’s Environmental Affairs Team, Krista supports the company’s 70+ Green Teams, recognizing and promoting environmental innovator best practices, and engaging and educating team members about their role in helping the company’s sustainability efforts. She also manages Wells Fargo’s Environmental Solutions for Communities’ $3 million annual nonprofit grant program focused on helping make long-term sustainable economic investments in local communities where its customers and 264,000 team members work and live. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2009, Krista worked in a variety of sustainability and marketing positions in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors. Krista earned her MBA in International Business at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

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