California — BayWa r.e. donated $20,000 to the Footprint Project to support relief efforts in southeastern Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Ida and the resulting cancellation of Solar Power International in New Orleans.
The funds will be used to extend the relief efforts in the region, which is especially important for those still without electricity in the region.
Footprint Project, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization, has been in Louisiana since Sept. 3 with a fleet of solar trailers and scores of portable charging stations. The mobile microgrids have been deployed at sites throughout the area, including community centers, medical centers and fire stations.
They are being used by volunteers to run refrigeration, ice makers, freezers and portable air conditioners, as well as to set up cooling and charging stations. Parking lots and street corners in high-need areas have also been provided with cellphone charging, medical and mobility devices, and battery shares.
“Since we cannot bring our people and money to New Orleans for Solar Power International as expected, we’re proud to support the Footprint Project in its efforts to aid economic recovery and help affected communities build back greener in the face of climate-amplified disasters like Hurricane Ida,” said Axel Veeser, Managing Director of BayWa r.e. USA LLC. “Its work demonstrates the value of renewable and resilient approaches in a region that has inadequate access to clean energy, suffers from vulnerable power-grid infrastructure, and traditionally has suffered environmental harm from the excesses of the conventional energy industries.”
“BayWa r.e.’s generous donation will make it possible to bring on and mobilize more staff, ship in more solar and battery equipment, and operate more community sites,” said Will Heegaard, operations director of the Footprint Project. “This will strengthen the partnerships we have with local groups on the ground and provide help to more communities across southeast Louisiana.”
“The solar community has come together in a big way already to help the people of New Orleans and southern Louisiana in the aftermath of COVID-19 and Ida,” said Misty Chioffe, Head of Marketing, Americas for BayWa r.e. USA LLC. “There is still more we can do. I strongly encourage others who were planning to attend SPI to consider giving to the community to help them build back greener. This is a powerful demonstration of how renewables can be a solution, in more than one way, to the climate crisis.”