Powering Up a Bright Future
Most people have heard about Habitat for Humanity but not everyone is lucky enough to share the excitement of a family walking into their new home for the first time — especially when the house is powered by the sun!
On Saturday October 3, I had the opportunity to do just that when a single woman, her two sons and their grandmother moved into the Tech House in Santa Clara, California — a project jointly sponsored by Applied Materials, eBay, Coherent and Symantec.
Just before the ribbon on the front door was cut, keys handed over, and a teen aged son opened the door to their residence, his mom shouted, “We are ready to go home!”
Their bright new home is one of three in the complex benefiting from solar panels that Applied Materials employee volunteers, working with the nonprofit organization GRID Alternatives, installed on the buildings last May.
The solar panels, manufactured by SunPower and purchased through a grant from Silicon Valley Power, provide clean, renewable energy and, in total, generate about 2.4 kilowatts per house — enough energy to cover each family's entire electric bill, saving the residents hundreds of dollars each year and an estimated $150,000 over the lifetime of the panels. The systems will also eliminate as estimated 600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions — the equivalent of planting 470 trees.
So, while Applied Materials — through its philanthropic efforts — is helping Habitat for Humanity transform families and strengthen communities by providing qualified families the opportunity to build affordable housing for long-term ownership, we are also working to ensure it is done in a clean and green way.