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GRID Alternatives Receives Grant to Expand Solar Power and Job Training Access Nationwide

The philanthropic grant from Illumina will support clean energy projects in four regions across the U.S., working towards tribal energy sovereignty and lower-cost utility bills for income-qualified homeowners around the nation

Published 06-08-22

Submitted by Illumina

Photo: Courtesy of  GRID Alternatives. Woman in a hard hat working on a solar panel.
Photo Credit: GRID Alternatives

SAN DIEGO, Calif., June 8, 2022 /CSRwire/ – Science and social justice join together to advance climate and environmental justice as GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit organization providing access to clean, affordable renewable energy, transportation, and jobs to the communities most often harmed by systemic oppression across the nation, announced a $500,000 grant with Illumina, a global leader in DNA sequencing and array- based technologies, headquartered in San Diego, CA.

This philanthropic grant will unfold in four regions across the U.S. - Washington D.C.; Odanah, Wisconsin; California’s Bay Area; and San Diego, California - connecting to communities near Illumina hubs and supporting work on a list of projects ranging from energy sovereignty for elderly tribal members in the Midwest to clean, low-cost energy for homeowners in one of the nation’s costliest places to live.

As a result of this partnership, approximately 75 income-qualified families will receive solar - along with its accompanying low-cost, clean energy. Additionally, about 4,500 hours of job training will be made available to communities that have been burdened with high under- and unemployment rates, helping to bridge the solar industry’s need for good people, with local communities’ needs for good jobs.

“Human health and the health of our environment are intertwined, connecting our Mission with our commitment to operate responsibly and sustainably,” said Sharon Vidal, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Illumina. “We have integrated our sustainability goals with investment focused on projects that support a just transition to a carbon-free economy and shape a more sustainable and equitable future.”

High utility bills disproportionately impact communities who earn below 60% of the area’s median income level nationally. The median energy burden (the percentage of gross household income spent on energy costs) for these communities is more than three times higher than that of the communities earning above this 60% threshold. (“Affordable and Accessible Solar for All: Barriers, Solutions, and On-Site Adoption Potential,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, September 2020, C2. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy21osti/80532.pdf).

“Every GRID Alternatives project has measurable impacts that align with our partners’ social and environmental responsibility goals. Illumina’s contribution will provide long-term financial savings to income-qualifying families, prepare workers for jobs in the growing solar industry, and contribute to greenhouse gas reductions,” said Dan Mueller, Development Officer at GRID Alternatives San Diego. “Our work benefits tens of thousands of people each year and has an impact at the top levels of industry, government, and media. GRID’s solar access, job training, and tribal programs are directly aligned with Illumina’s focus on supporting the energy transition needed to combat the climate crisis. These high-impact programs are continuously growing and evolving to meet this moment, all made possible by our passionate staff, dedicated volunteers, engaged clients, and of course, corporate partnerships.”

When asked about the grant, Paul Cleary, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives, was hopeful for a cross- industry, collaborative future and the widespread positive outcomes of the interconnection: “We are thrilled to be working with Illumina on this initiative based on our shared commitment to economic and environmental justice. If we are going to reach our climate goals, everyone needs to be part of the solution. Illumina’s generous support will have positive, lasting impacts across the country, and we are grateful for it.”

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About GRID Alternatives

GRID Alternatives is a national leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to economic and environmental justice communities. Using a unique, people-first model, GRID develops and implements solar projects that serve qualifying households and affordable housing providers, while providing hands-on job training and connections to clean mobility and battery storage incentive programs. GRID has installed solar for more than 22,750 households to date and helped families and housing providers save $590 million in lifetime electricity costs, while training over 32,500 people. GRID Alternatives has eight regional offices and affiliates serving California, Colorado, the mid-Atlantic region, and Tribal communities nationwide, and serves communities in Nicaragua, Nepal, and Mexico. For more information, visit gridalternatives.org.

About Illumina

Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our focus on innovation has established us as a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical and applied markets. Our products are used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture and other emerging segments. To learn more, visit www.illumina.com and connect with us on TwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagram, and YouTube.

Learn more about Illumina’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, community impact, and progress here.

 

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Illumina

Illumina

Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our focus on innovation has established us as the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical, and applied markets. Our products are used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture, and other emerging segments. 

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