The Solar Suitcase Program

PG&E and We Share Solar® are partnering once again to bring a fully funded, local and global STEM project to classrooms in central and northern California. The Solar Suitcase Program blends engineering skills with sustainable energy lessons and local and international philanthropy.


Learn more about the program

The Solar Suitcase Program, part of the PG&E Foundation's Better Together Giving Program, empowers 8th-12th grade students to build We Share Solar® Suitcases. The program places special emphasis on leveraging a hands-on and humanitarian approach to engage youth traditionally under-represented in STEM fields.


By combining hands-on engineering education with real-world applicability, teachers cultivate students’ interests in clean energy. Students are also inspired to meet an immediate societal need by delivering solar energy to local communities and areas of need in the developing world.


We Share Solar® Suitcases are small, portable photovoltaic lighting systems, powerful enough to illuminate a classroom. Through this program, participating educators will be trained to teach youth how to build Solar Suitcases that will be delivered to energy-scarce regions of the world.


Learn more about We Share Solar® Suitcases

Benefits of participating in the PG&E Solar Suitcase Program

  • Training and equipment. Teachers receive professional development training and over $7,000 of equipment to provide students with an engaging, flexible STEM program.
  • Leadership. Students demonstrate environmental leadership skills by designing and completing a local Solar Suitcase deployment project to benefit their community.
  • Global impact. Students build We Share Solar® Suitcases that each eliminate 6.45 tons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere, provide light for students to study and help community businesses to thrive.
  • Solar Suitcase deployment. Schools build two Solar Suitcases for deployment—one for international installation and one for domestic placement in local communities.
  • Engagement. The hands-on and humanitarian approach attracts non-traditional STEM students.
  • Program visibility. Schools receive support from PG&E’s communications team to highlight their students’ innovation to local media outlets.
  • Emergency preparedness. Each classroom set of suitcases increases a school’s emergency preparedness by doubling as a portable charging, lighting and communication source during disasters.


Application and other information

Applications are due by May 30, 2018 and applicants will be notified by June 8, 2018.

If you miss this year's application deadline, please check this website next spring for program updates.

Download the program fact sheet (PDF, 128 KB)
Complete the application

Still have questions?

Email Alli Pemerl, We Share Solar® Program Assistant at alli@wecaresolar.org.

PG&E Solar Suitcase stories

Students Travel to Kenya to Deliver Solar Suitcases that are Changing Lives

When North High School student Evelyn Valdez joined her school’s Solar Suitcase club, she had no idea it would lead her to a small village in Kenya. “It was amazing to see how teenagers could make such an impact in the lives of others,” she said.

Two Students Surprised with Kenya Trip to Deliver Solar Suitcases

In a surprise announcement in front of more than 500 students, classmates Evelyn Ramirez and Isaiah Lucero learned they were selected to go to Kenya as part of a service learning trip to deliver solar suitcases they helped build.

PG&E Grows Solar and Promotes STEM with Solar Suitcase Program

PG&E has selected 19 Northern and Central California schools to participate in the inaugural year of the Solar Suitcase Program. Under the program, students will build portable solar units, share their commitment to sustainability by participating in local projects and have an opportunity to share the solar suitcases with students in Kenya.

University Partners

CitySchool or Organization

Arcata

Humboldt State

Hayward

California State University East Bay

Monterey

California State Monterey Bay

Sacramento

Sacramento State

San Francisco

San Francisco State

San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly SLO

8-12th Grade Partners

CitySchool or Organization

Alameda

Encinal High School

Atwater

Buhach Colony High School

Bakersfield

Independence High School

Bakersfield

North High School

Bakersfield

Stockdale High School

Byron

Delta Vista High School

Chico

Inspire School of Arts and Sciences

Clearlake

Konocti Education Center

Cloverdale

Cloverdale High School

Clovis

Buchanan High School

Daly City

Jefferson High School

Daly City

Thomas R. Pollicita Middle School

Fowler

Sutter Middle School

Fresno

Hoover High School

Hayward

Winton Middle School

Hayward

Cesar Chavez Middle School

Hoopa

Hoopa Valley High School

Los Molinos

Los Molinos High School FFA

Madera

Mountain Vista Alt. Ed. High School

Madera

Madera South High School

Marina

Los Arboles Middle School

McKinleyville

McKinleyville High

Merced

Yosemite High School

Monterey

Girls Inc. of the Central Coast

Oakland

Skyline High School

Oakland

Girls Incorporated of Alameda County

Oakland

Oakland High School

Oakland

Oakland Technical High School

Orcutt

Orcutt Academy High School

Patterson

Invest In Me

Petaluma

Sonoma Mountain and Carpe Diem

Sacramento

Foothill High School

Sacramento

Rio Americano High

San Francisco

Abraham Lincoln High School

San Jose

Independence High School

Seaside

Seaside High School

Stockton

Stagg High

Templeton

Templeton High School

Tracy

Tracy High School

Turlock

Stanislaus State / Turlock Unified

Ukiah

Mendocino County Office of Education

Upperlake

Upper Lake High School

Vacaville

Willis Jepson Middle School

West Sacramento

River City High School

Winters

Winters High