GRID Alternatives’ vision is a successful transition to clean, renewable energy that includes everyone. Its mission is to make renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities. GRID Alternatives was an active member of the Low Income Consumer Solar Working Group and Tom Figel, Director of Community Solar, was a co-chair collaborating with Judith Schwartz.
GRID was founded during the 2001 California energy crisis by Erica Mackie, P.E., and Tim Sears, P.E., two engineering professionals who were implementing large-scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for the private sector. The idea that drove them was simple: free, clean electricity from the sun should be available to everyone. Through GRID Alternatives, they developed a model to make solar PV technology practical and accessible for low-income communities, while providing pathways to clean energy jobs.