On August 4th, six Westwood team members took part in GRID Alternatives’ Women in Solar Program, helping to build a 160 kW community solar array in Platteville, Colorado. The event was organized by GRID Alternatives, a non-profit whose mission is to make renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities.

GRID Alternatives’ Women in Solar program aims to bring more women into the solar industry by providing pathways to technical careers and supporting them in their professional advancement. Westwood’s team was part of sixty-five women from around the country who came together to help install the project. Once completed the community solar array will provide power for Boulder Housing Partners, a non-profit dedicated to providing quality, affordable housing in the area. Over the next twenty years, the 160 kW system is expected to generate approximately $136,000 in energy savings. Boulder Housing Partners can use those savings to better fulfill their goals. 

Westwood’s team spent the day building fixed-tilt racking systems, installing modules onto the racking systems, driving earth anchors using a hammer drill, and networking with others in the industry. Says Katie Penning, PE, “It was really fulfilling to get out from behind our desks and work on a project that will have such a positive impact, and even better that we got to do it while connecting with other women in the industry.”

Westwood’s attendees came from multiple office locations and positions:

  • Dani Franssen, PE, civil project manager (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Emily Mickelson, water resources graduate engineer (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Hillary Neff, EIT, electrical engineer (Madison, WI)
  • Jessica TeSelle, project assistant and Denver office manager (Denver, CO)
  • Katie Penning, PE, senior project manager (Madison, WI)
  • Mallory Lindgren, director, solar and storage (Minneapolis, MN)

Learn more about the event in the Denver news.