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Footprint Project Sends Solar Cavalry to Hurricane Ida Outages in Louisiana

By: PRLog

NEW ORLEANS - Sept. 4, 2021 - PRLog -- Nearly a week after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday, August 29, over 700,000 residents in Louisiana are still without power. Gas shortages in the region are leaving even those with access to generators sweltering and in the dark. An emerging approach to climate disaster response has deployed to New Orleans – a solar cavalry, armed with trailers outfitted with solar panels and battery storage.

Footprint Project, a Minneapolis-based non-profit organization, along with their for-profit subsidiary Rent.Solar, is on the ground in Louisiana with four solar trailers and 60 portable charging stations. Their mobile solar paired with battery storage will create microgrids to power relief efforts already on the ground within the region.

In a coincidental turn of events, Footprint Project and Rent.Solar found themselves fully staged and ready to deploy to Louisiana from Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN. The event was suddenly cancelled due to waterlogged festival grounds from the hurricane's continued path throughout the southeast. Both organizations had programming and rental contracts with Bonnaroo this year.

"We were tracking Ida while loading into Bonnaroo and immediately began strategizing about how we could deploy while still fulfilling our festival contract," said Will Heegaard, Operations Director at Footprint Project. The event announced its cancellation two days after Ida made landfall in Louisiana.

Footprint Project's mission is to provide cleaner energy for communities in crisis. Through their for-profit subsidiary Rent.Solar, Footprint supports that mission by renting out their mobile solar equipment to events like Bonnaroo. "While it's incredibly unfortunate for everyone involved that the festival couldn't go on this year, the ability to get down to communities in need of critical power with such speed and agility is the real reason we do this work," said Heegaard.

On the ground since Friday, September 3, Footprint has so far powered up the NOLA VFW which is distributing 500 meals a day to the community, and Imagine Water Works which leads the Mutual Aid Response Group of Louisiana. Footprint is still building a list of sites requesting power to be triaged and prioritized based on need and service. They are also sourcing additional solar equipment from industry partners around the country to arrive in Louisiana over the coming days. The mobile microgrids will be deployed at sites throughout the area, including community centers, medical centers, and fire stations. Parking lots and street corners identified as high need areas by local partners will also be targeted for cell phone charging, medical and mobility devices, and battery shares.

"We're incredibly grateful to all our partners and supporters for helping us build back greener in Louisiana," said Heegaard.


About Us

Footprint Project's mission is to help communities build back greener after environmental disasters. Footprint Project has extensive experience designing, building and deploying solar trailers for emergency use, mobilizing pools of distributed clean energy assets to support disaster first responders and meet emergency power needs. We help relief groups integrate sustainable technologies into their missions through hands-on training, design, and deployment support. In 2019, FP deployed mobile solar stations to 5 environmental disasters, distributed over 1,200 solar panels, donated 2 solar trailers to first responders, and launched our Solar Energy Rapid Response Team (SERRT). Since January 2020, FP volunteers were some of the first to respond following the January earthquake in Puerto Rico, deploying ten mobile solar generators to power device recharging, medical equipment, and lighting. In Matamoros, Mexico, Footprint provided a solar tent and trailer for a field hospital to power Global Response Management's COVID-19 clinic, serving 2,500 asylum seekers in the encampment. In Tennessee and Iowa, where extreme weather left neighborhoods in the dark for days, Footprint provided direct clean energy access to over 2,000 citizens. Overall, providing direct access to emergency solar recharging for over 12,500 people during grid outages.

Press Contact:
Will Heegaard, Director, Footprint Project
+1 612 701 5400

Deployment Partners:
Bonnaroo Works Fund
DER Task Force
Information Technology Disaster Resource Center
Lightwave Solar
New Use Energy
Pedego E-Bikes Chattanooga
Schneider Electric
United Solar Initiave Inc.

Will Heegaard

Photos: (Click photo to enlarge)

Footprint Project Logo Solar cavalry on the road Replacing diesel generator with solar at NOLA VFW

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