Social Impact

GRID Alternatives

Market entry strategy providing affordable solar power for low-income housing

GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit that develops solar arrays for low/moderate income single and multifamily developments. Headquartered in Oakland, GRID Alternatives seeks to increase the deployment of solar generation around the country by providing the technology to families who can benefit most from the cost savings. Their focus, however, is not just deployment of solar systems on low/moderate income homes. They have a series of programs designed to provide installation experience to people who are pursuing a career in solar development through which they bring well-paying jobs to areas of high unemployment or under-employment.

This project has been one of my favorites at the firm. The work we did was unlike the work that I had done so far, and allowed me to stretch my skills in a way that may have been difficult on other projects. In addition, I truly valued the interactions that I had with our clients on a daily basis. Throughout the project, I was continuously inspired by their commitment to the organization
Lindsay Grant, Senior Consultant, Oliver Wyman


We conducted an eight-week engagement to prepare a market segmentation analysis focusing on the multifamily housing market. Our main question in this analysis was around the size and quality of the opportunity in specific towns on the east coast. Multifamily housing allows for larger installations, with more individuals and families reaping the benefits of the technology, but it also introduces logistical complications that are not present in single-family installations. Our goal throughout the project was to find target developments that would provide high-quality opportunities for the organization and that would reach a large number of individuals and families within the community.

Our team thoroughly enjoyed working with GRID Alternatives – they have a mission that is compelling and unique in our space. It is not very often in the utility sector that we get to see the direct benefit from our client work to those less fortunate. Knowing that our work enables low-income housing access to reduced electric bills while expanding the base of clean, renewable power makes this project even more special
Gerry Yurkevicz, Partner, Oliver Wyman


At the end of this project, we presented a comprehensive ranking of all properties within the target geographies, along with detailed profiles about the properties and owners. The goal of this information was to provide a starting point for focused outreach and informed discussions with owners. In addition to providing property information, we created a dynamic database of all properties within the targeted geography that can be updated and used in the future as an outreach-tracking tool. Overall, the project was designed to help GRID achieve maximum impact by directing efforts towards high potential properties for partnership.