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Rexel Foundation Donates to National Tribal Solar Program

Rexel Foundation Donates to National Tribal Solar Program

The Rexel Foundation has announced its support of GRID Alternatives‘ National Tribal Solar Program with a $38,000 donation. The Tribal Program is dedicated to improving energy access for Native Americans, whose poverty rate in 2014 of over 28% was nearly twice the national average. Fourteen percent of Tribal households living on reservations have no access to electricity at all, and those that do often struggle to pay their utility bills. 

GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit organization addressing unemployment and lack of renewable energy access through their “triple bottom line” approach: measurable, long-term financial benefits for families struggling to keep up with monthly expenses; real-world, hands-on training and experience for local workers in the growing field of solar installation; and environmental benefits through reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The Rexel Foundation’s funding will help expand the Tribal Program’s work across Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington, including its efforts to retrofit non-working off-grid systems on Navajo lands. The funding will not only directly benefit these communities by supporting solar power installations for families in need of relief, but also support community job training programs for local workers in the growing solar industry. There are over 1000 estimated beneficiaries and 12 tribal communities who will be directly impacted, ranging from low-income tribal families who will be offered solar system installations, to job trainees and volunteers who will receive job training and the skills needed to install solar panels in the community.

“We are delighted to be working with the Rexel Foundation,” said Tim Willink, Director of Tribal Programs at GRID Alternatives. “Their support is making a tremendous impact for these communities, not only helping families save money for other urgent expenses, but also providing career pathways in areas struggling with unemployment.”

 

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