Ninety-three families that live at the Parkchester Apartments, an affordable housing development in Washington, D.C., have received new upgrades to their rental units, thanks to the cost savings from new solar panels that were installed on their buildings.
The 118-kilowatt solar power system was recently installed by the nonprofit GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, which provides renewable energy technology and job training to underserved communities. More than 100 volunteers and job trainees helped install the system, which will offset 100 percent of the electricity costs for common area spaces. Building owner and nonprofit real estate organization NHP Foundation used the cost savings to complete comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades to all rental units, which will translate to big electricity savings for tenants and their families. Upgrades included new, energy-efficient HVAC systems, kitchens, light fixtures, roofs, and water fixtures, as well as a new community center and playground for tenants.
This is just one of the ways GRID Alternatives is providing access to solar power with support from Wells Fargo. Since 2008, Wells Fargo has invested more than $6 million in GRID Alternatives. In 2012, Wells Fargo provided a five-year, $2 million grant for GRID Alternatives to expand from California to Colorado and the mid-Atlantic region, as well as in Native American communities across the U.S. In 2015, Wells Fargo and GRID Alternatives teamed up on the Troops to Solar initiative to provide hands-on solar opportunities to current and former members of the U.S. armed services.
In 2017, Wells Fargo committed to a four-year, $2 million grant to GRID Alternatives so it could continue its national expansion, support new business models, and expand its collegiate programs, like Solar Spring Break.