Archives from Category Responsibility

SMA Sunny Bear Flash Dances the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

In accepting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from SolarEdge, SMA Sunny Bear took the donation drive to the next level by recreating the iconic water scene from the 1980’s move classic Flash Dance. The video was filmed overnight behind the SMA Service Center in Rocklin, California.

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Pay it forward: Helping K12 Solar spread their wings

K12 Solar and SMA

Velocity Venture Capital’s 2014 Entrepreneur Showcase will pit entrepreneurs against each other for the most valuable prize of all: funding. Bring in American Idol style voting and coaches for each team of entrepreneurs and this contest is one that can have a profound effect on business.

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Sunny Bear spreads joy all the way to India

Vismay and Sunny Bear, who is wearing a sweater, during their trip to London.

Excitement for solar is alive and well in New Delhi, India, fed by the life and times of Sunny Bear and his best friend, Vismay. But just a few weeks ago, things were not so sunny. During a family trip from Vismay’s home in New Delhi to London, the unthinkable and unexpected happened: Sunny Bear went missing.

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SMA helps local kids smile, donates Sunny Bears to UC Davis Children’s Hospital

It was nothing but smiles and excitement as the SMA van pulled up, loaded to the top with teddy bears in search of new friends. The small idea to bring joy to area children turned into a big donation recently, as the SMA team

Sunny Bear joins a new family at UC Davis Children's Hospital.

Sunny Bear joins a new family at UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

donated nearly 2,000 teddy bears to the UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

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GRID Alternatives comes to SMA America’s backyard for a solar install

GRID Alternatives helps bring the power of solar to low-income families who need it the most—those who are often the least likely to afford it. When we heard they partnered with a family in Roseville, California, just down the road from SMA America’s headquarters, we jumped at the chance to help our neighbors.

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Tracey’s Place of Hope

For the past 14 years, Raiders great Fred Biletnikoff and his wife Angie have dedicated their lives to helping adolescent girls who are facing the same hardships their beloved daughter Tracey tried to overcome. The Biletnikoff Foundation extends their arms to girls struggling with mental health and substance abuse problems to help them get on the road to a full, healthy recovery.

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Expert Opinions: A Q&A with California Smart Grid Center’s Dr. Macari

Guests are invited to visit SMA America’s headquarters and testing facilities on a regular basis, but rarely do we have the opportunity to speak with someone with the credentials and understanding of energy issues like Emir Macari, Ph.D.

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The Five Hottest Solar Gadgets

It’s amazing what solar energy can move, illuminate and operate. It lengthens the day after the sun goes down, provides energy where is no utility grid and – just as important – froths milk. Here is a random selection of five solar-powered devices we came across while surfing the Internet.

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Video Update: Dream of First Solar-Powered High School in Africa becomes a Reality

In a previous blog post, we introduced Sioma High School, located in Western Zambia, Africa. The school, which houses more than 600 students each semester, was powered by three dirty, noisy and inefficient diesel generators that cost about $26,000 in fuel per year. However, that all changed when the non-profit organization Empowered by Light created a healthier learning environment for the students by outfitting the school with a 24-kilowatt solar microgrid and battery storage system.

See how this incredible project became a reality and how Sioma High School students are benefiting from consistent electricity in the video above.

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Zambia Students Shine, Thanks to First Solar-Powered High School in Africa

Sioma High School
Mark Ruffalo, actor and activist joined officials to celebrate at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Mark Ruffalo, actor and activist, celebrated with key officials at the ribbon cutting ceremony and commissioning.

Sioma High School serves a large area of Western Zambia, Africa. Its more than 600 students walk, sometimes for several days, to get to the campus, where they will live for the entire semester. Sioma High School’s four dormitories, kitchen and dining halls, and seven classrooms, were powered by three dirty and inefficient diesel generators that ran throughout the day, creating an unhealthy learning environment filled with noise and air pollution. It was susceptible to the fluctuating price and unpredictable delivery of diesel, which costs the school approximately $26,000 each year. That is, until Empowered by Light stepped in.

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NOLA Lower 9th Ward Village “Greenest Skate Park” in the World

NOLA Ninth Ward Community Center

Lil Wayne skates and celebrates the opening of a skate park in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. (AP)

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, flooding the city and destroying everything in its path. Seven years later a community is still moving forward and trying to rebuild. Thanks to Grammy award-winning rapper Lil Wayne, Brad Pitt’s Make it Right Foundation and a sponsorship from Mountain Dew, the community now sees a brighter future. 

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Going Green Hollywood Style

Hollywood Sign located in Los Angeles, California

Most of us are used to seeing daily headlines revealing the latest triumphs and trials of Hollywood’s A-listers. While much of what we see may focus on fashion and heartbreak, some celebs are putting their high-profile publicity to good use by promoting their own efforts to live sustainably.

A bit of research shows that dozens of actors, actresses and musicians are doing their part to keep the planet clean in a variety of ways, from using solar power to composting to wearing recycled clothing.

The late Larry Hagman, the former TV star of “Dallas”, was a well known solar advocate.

Here are a few of our favorite go-green celebrity efforts:

Solar Support: Larry Hagman

We would be remiss not to mention the late Larry Hagman, one of the industry’s earliest and most visible advocates. He lived on a ranch powered by solar and was involved in various philanthropic solar projects worldwide. Hagman reportedly paid just $13 in energy costs per year once he installed solar on his California ranch.

Jack Johnson is a singer-songwriter, surfer and renewable energy advocate.


Charitable Sustainability: Jack Johnson

Not only does Jack Johnson own a Los Angeles recording studio that runs entirely on solar, but he established the Kokua Hawaii Foundation in his native state to educate children about renewable energy and sustainable living. Passing knowledge to a new generation is a great way to increase the use of solar in the future.

Julia Roberts, a famous American actress, has taken advantage of the sunny California climate by adding solar to her Malibu home.

Bringing Solar Home: Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts’ efforts to go green reportedly date back to the 1970s when she first learned about solar energy. Today Roberts lives in a Malibu mansion with $20 million in eco-friendly upgrades including a solar system, energy efficient appliances and recycled tile. Her goal is to pave the way for increased solar use through example.

An American actor and self-proclaimed “green living expert”, Woody Harrelson lives in a completely sustainable community.

Controversially Committed: Woody Harrelson

We hear that Woody Harrelson lives completely off-grid in Hawaii in a home that is part of a community powered 100% by solar energy. Interestingly he also eats a raw vegan diet and is known as an avid and “colorful” environmental advocate within the Hollywood circle. Though sometimes controversial, Harrelson is deeply committed to living a green lifestyle.


Other solar advocates among the Hollywood elite include Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio, to name a few. While many of us may not have Hollywood fame and fortune, we can certainly applaud some of those who do and are putting it to good use.  Who is your favorite green celebrity?

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