Solar Powers Communities Damaged By Hurricane Ida
NEW ORLEANS — From PosiGen:
South Louisiana communities hit hard by Hurricane Ida are now using the power of the sun in their recovery efforts. New Orleans Solar Company, PosiGen Solar, has teamed up with the Footprint Project to deploy 12 solar power stations at disaster supply sites in hurricane-damaged areas. A dozen firehouses, churches and community centers damaged or destroyed and left without power because of the storm will now have lights, fans, refrigerators, and cell phone charging stations thanks to solar power.
The PosiGen solar power stations in Louisiana are located:
- Houma – American Legion / Cajun Commissary (installed)
- Golden Meadow – First Baptist Church (installed)
- Avondale – Fire Station on S. Jamie Boulevard (installed)
- Laplace – Celebration Church River Parishes Campus (installed)
- Lockport – Lafourche Parish Fire Station #2 in Lockport
- Lockport – Lafourche Parish Fire Station #3 in Cut Off
5 more solar power stations will be deployed by Sunday across Southeast Louisiana.
Hurricane Ida recovery volunteers credit the solar power stations with helping them bring their communities back to life. Tiffany Theriot runs the Cajun Commissary, which is an emergency distribution site set up on a tennis court in storm-ravaged Houma, Louisiana. “Having these solar power stations has truly transformed how we are able to help people,” Theriot says. “I’m truly at a loss for words. Because PosiGen and the Footprint Project are here providing us solar power, we can plug in refrigerators to feed volunteers. We now have fans to cool people down. We have electricity to charge cell phones so they can contact their loved ones. We don’t have to worry about running out of gas. We don’t have to hunt for ice. We have all the energy we need to serve the volunteers who are serving the people of this community, and it all comes right from the sun. This gift of solar power truly changed how we operate, and we are so grateful to PosiGen and Footprint Project.”
The 12 self-contained solar power stations include 30 solar panels that provide 11,400 watts of power, along with an inverter and dual battery pack that provides up to 27,000 watt-hours of electricity. PosiGen Solar has been working around the clock with the team from the Footprint Project to deploy these power stations across southeast Louisiana. They are being used by community volunteers to run refrigeration, ice makers, freezers, portable A/C’s, to set up cooling stations and charging stations.
“We are a part of the community,” says Tom Neyhart, PosiGen CEO. “As soon as we ensured our employees were safe, we turned our attention to helping people in these hardest-hit areas. We’ve met some really incredible people who are dealing with extremely dire situations that in some cases, could have been helped or at least the damage could have been lessened. It’s frustrating to know the work we’re doing now to power neighborhoods through microgrids, and power storage could have been done pre-storm if our state had a more holistic approach to energy. PosiGen is now working to install 300 solar power batteries at homes in low-income neighborhoods so these families aren’t left in the dark again. Everyone deserves the right to clean, renewable energy.”
The Footprint Project has worked to bring clean energy to areas of climate disasters and humanitarian emergencies since 2017, but volunteers on the ground in Southeast Louisiana say this is their largest response operation to date. “The relationship we have developed with PosiGen over the last week has been one of the most impactful partnerships Footprint Project has been graced to make,” says Nate Heegaard, Footprint Project Volunteer Operations Manager. “We couldn’t have helped so many communities without the incredibly generous help of Tom and his team. The amount of help and resources PosiGen has committed to this operation is simply unparalleled to anything we have ever experienced and there simply aren’t words to express our gratitude.”
Community Advocate Tatiana Sofia Begault and the First Responders Mutual Aid Relief Team, along with countless other volunteers are also helping with this project.