Sustainably Powering Communities When Disaster Strikes
As climate change exacerbates extreme weather across the globe, there is an increased need for emergency humanitarian response. Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and more are becoming more extreme, and communities need sound, sustainable resources to bounce back better than before. That’s why Footprint Project, a nonprofit organization, is working to provide cleaner energy for communities in crisis.
Footprint Project develops and deploys mobile solar generators to power front-line resilience efforts across the domestic United States, and provides equipment, logistics, and training for survivors and responders. But they can’t do it alone. This year, EnerSys® partnered with Footprint Project, donating multiple Outback Power™ Charge Controllers to support emergency response efforts.
“Having the right equipment in place is only one piece of the puzzle,” says Samuel Shiroff, Senior Director of Sustainability at EnerSys. “For equipment to have the most impact, we need to ensure there are people who know how to install and repair it.” That is why one of the Outback Power™ Charge Controllers was used by Footprint Project as part of a hands-on training of 20 community resilience leaders. With the knowledge from the workshop, the trained local residents built 5 solar generators to be staged at resilience hubs across New Orleans and will now be able to troubleshoot the generators during disasters and times of need to ensure everything is working properly.
“The best way to learn about solar is to learn it hands-on,” says Will Heegaard, Operations Director at Footprint Project. “We learn best by doing and these trainings are a key part of making sure communities are prepared at any moment when disaster strikes.”
Participants in the NOLA Build Power Workshop in July 2022 hosted by Footprint Project.
Footprint Project also works with other nonprofits like EcoCamp Coyote and Groundwork NOLA to provide resources for their initiatives. In this case, four EnerSys® Outback Power™ Charge Controllers are being donated to these two nonprofits to expand a mobile solar kitchen, retrofit a solar trailer, and install an inverter for regional disaster power outages. Footprint Project is also working with grassroots neighborhood resilience hubs to create off-grid charging stations in their community gardens with EnerSys® Outback Power™ Charge Controllers this fall.
“Equipment donations from sustainability leaders like EnerSys are integral to our mission,” says Will. “We’re incredibly appreciative of EnerSys for helping us provide cleaner energy to communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change."
At EnerSys, our mission is to provide energy everywhere, for everyone. By partnering with organizations like Footprint Project, we’re able to do that sustainability and in scenarios where and when people need it most.
To learn more about Footprint Project, check out their work here: https://www.footprintproject.org/