Here’s how you can help bring emergency solar to New Orleans


The Footprint Project is seeking hardware and monetary donations to construct solar power plus energy storage mobile microgrids to be deployed in New Orleans. The non-profit can be reached via its Contact Us page.

The group is currently raising $50,000, via a DER Task Force initiated GoFundMe, to purchase and deploy this solar+storage hardware into New Orleans. As of press time for this article, they’ve raised more than $45,000.

Hurricane Ida on August 29 knocked out all transmission power lines that support the greater New Orleans region. Estimated reconstruction timelines were initially estimated at greater than two months. Specific areas within local electricity utility Entergy have been given tentative electricity restoration time frames through the end of September.

Footprint Project is working to set up mobile solar and storage throughout New Orleans to complement the diesel/gas generators that are being deployed by others. Typical sites include community centers, medical centers, and fire stations, as well as street corners and parking lots so people can charge cell phones, medical and mobility devices, and use wifi.

California battery manufacturer SimpliPhi’s Matt Roberts said that it sent a pallet of batteries, and is also working with the Footprint Project. Roberts said the company will donate 1% of all revenue to high human-impact energy projects.

And now that Solar Power International in New Orleans has been cancelled, companies that were sending pallets of material for the exhibit hall are being solicited to swap palletized goods for products that will help bring New Orleans back online.

The Footprint Project said it has deployed 45+ kW of mobile solar and 170+ kWh of mobile battery storage to at least 10 disaster response and recovery missions, providing emergency clean power access to 14,000 people.

On its website, the Footprint Project shares assessment forms, computer animated designs (CAD), and hardware specification sheets. The group has designed and deployed two sets of hardware.

One is a 5’x8’ aluminum trailer that couples six commercial solar panels with 3.8 kWh of energy storage. The design stored in the group’s Google Drive share notes a total hardware price just shy of $30,000.

The space and energy resources that are contained in the unit are listed on Footprint’s website as being viable for shelter, water, communications, operations, food, administration, and emergency health services.

Footprint provides plans for a second, smaller flat-packed solar trailer as well. The unit costs approximately $8,500 when fitted with 3 kWh of batteries and four solar panels.


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