New Use Energy (NUE) and their core partner Footprint Project (FP), a 501(C)(3) non-profit, have been working nonstop over this past week to bring as many solar-powered generators to the New Orleans area as possible. The team is deploying trailers, shelters, charging kits and more to several established locations, other NGOs, and government agencies in the city and surrounding areas. They are working in response to the devastation and growing power needs of the people in Louisiana from Hurricane Ida.
Since Hurricane Ida struck New Orleans, hundreds of thousands of Louisiana citizens are without power. More communities, including the northeastern United States, are also grappling with storm damage and power loss. New Use Energy is helping respond with reliable, flexible and mobile solar-powered systems. These systems are essential at providing incomparable power resources when supply chains go down, the power goes out and people no longer have easy access to fossil fuels.
Help Support Footprint Project’s Efforts
Together with Footprint Project, NUE is part of the largest relief effort to date. NUE is supporting Footprint Project by sending all available equipment and resources, including personnel, to help. Since 2019, NUE and Footprint Project have been deploying portable solar generators to disasters areas. Their team travels nationwide, helping communities in Colorado, California, Tennessee, Oregon, Iowa and more. To continue their relief efforts, the team currently needs more donations to secure and deploy equipment and personnel. You can help their efforts by donating to Footprint Project’s GoFundMe.
Safety to people and the environment are the top priorities of New Use Energy and Footprint Project. Unlike traditional disaster relief responses, NUE and FP do not use fossil fuel generators. After Hurricane Laura hit in August 2020, Louisiana Department of Health confirmed that eight deaths were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from improper use of portable generators. Portable generators provide life-saving power in emergencies, but they can also pose a deadly threat if used incorrectly. NPR states “Most generator-related fatalities are caused by carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can build up especially quickly in enclosed spaces. At certain levels, just five minutes of exposure is enough to be fatal.”
Clearly, this method of response to disasters is amplifying an already tenuous and life-threatening situation. A change needs to occur to help make communities more resilient to increasing disasters. Solar-powered generators are the way to do this. NUE’s solar-powered generators are portable, component-driven and adaptable. The generators do not rely on gas and instead charge primarily from the sun or, if needed, an AC source. This flexibility makes them the optimal choice in city-wide disasters.
Solar-powered Boots on the Ground
Late Friday night, the NUE-Footprint team arrived in New Orleans with trucks towing three solar-powered trailers, one solar-powered shelter, over 60 portable solar generator stations, and three DC solar refrigeration units. The city was shrouded in darkness. The team has been meeting with volunteers and other non-profit organizations from California, New York, and Minnesota.
The team is staged in the most strategic, impactful locations throughout the city. Some areas include communication centers, evacuation shelters, medical stations, food/water distribution sites and assisted living facilities.