Erica is the CEO and co-founder of GRID Alternatives, the nation's largest nonprofit solar installer. She started the organization with co-founder Tim Sears in 2001 while working as a professional engineer implementing large-scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for the private sector. Their vision was to make the benefits of these technologies available to low-income communities that need the savings and jobs the most, but have the least access. Using a barn-raising model, GRID Alternatives trains and leads teams of job trainees and other community volunteers to install solar electric systems exclusively for low-income families and communities. Every project generates “triple bottom line” results: measurable, long-term financial benefits for low-income families struggling to keep up with monthly expenses; real-world, hands-on experience for local workers in the growing field of solar installation; and environmental benefits by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and building support for solar power as a practical solution for all of our communities.
Ms. Mackie has received numerous awards for her leadership of GRID Alternatives, including the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in 2008, the New Leaders Council Energy Leadership Award in 2009, the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award in 2010, the US Green Building Council’s Green Building Super Hero Award in 2010 and the 2013 Clean Energy and Empowerment Award from C3E. She speaks regularly at solar and energy-related conferences such as PV America and Solar Power International on renewable energy access and gender diversity in the solar industry.