Helping make solar technology and job training accessible to underserved communities

In addition to the environmental and economic benefits of our projects, Lightsource bp is committed to maximizing local community benefits. This includes educational and solar job training opportunities, with an emphasis on promoting diversity and inclusion in the solar industry.

As part of this area of focus, Lightsource bp is a corporate sponsor of Grid Alternatives, a nationwide non-profit organization that is making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to low-income communities and communities of color.

Through this partnership, Lightsource bp is sponsoring economic development programs in the state of Colorado – as part of our Bighorn Solar project development. At 300 megawatts, Bighorn is currently the largest project in our company’s global portfolio. Located on EVRAZ steel property near Pueblo CO, the project is already bringing economic benefits to the area – helping ensure that the steel mill that employs 1,000 local workers is able to remain in Pueblo and have the resources to invest in expansion of the facility which will create additional employment opportunities for the community. And the Bighorn project itself will employ approximately 300 direct workers on site, the majority of which will be hired from the local community, for the 12-14 month construction period.

But we wanted to do more for the community, with a focus on making solar jobs accessible to those who need them most. Working with Grid Alternatives, we sponsored a solar training program for un- and underemployed workers in Pueblo that was held in July 2020. The program involved two weeks of free training, with an additional week afterward for one-on-one career planning. The program includes industry-recognized certifications, and while the primary goal of the program is to train participants for the solar industry, participants leave with valuable experiences that are transferable to the general construction, electrical, and mechanical trades. Graduates from the class were invited to interview for employment our the Bighorn Solar project.

Lightsource bp is also a sponsor of this year’s Grid Alternatives Solarthon in Pueblo, a community event that involves installation of solar on low-income housing.

Here’s an example of some of the great work from Grid Alternatives: