Footprint's CGI Commitment to Action: Renewable Energy for Disaster Innovation in Vieques

In 2019, Footprint Project committed to design and fund a containerized emergency command center for the Vieques Emergency Management Office, to be powered by solar and storage and located at the primary community emergency shelter for the island. Since Hurricane Maria severed the undersea electrical cable connecting Vieques to Puerto Rico’s main grid, the island has faced significant energy vulnerability. The Vieques Emergency Management Office (OMME) serves as the dispatch center, ambulance bay, emergency planning, operations, and coordination center for the island. The new emergency command center will feature resilient 20kW solar array and a 20 kWh battery bank to power essential loads including radio dispatch, communications, refrigeration, and lighting. The containerized solar plus storage solution will be located at the primary community emergency shelter in Vieques, the María M. Simmons De Rivera School, and serve as a semi-permanent resilience hub and functional office space for OMME’s nine staff.

Vieques Community Recovery Workshop

“Between January 15 and 16, 2018, on the island of Vieques, the Community Workshop on Social Recovery was held. More than 30 people attended from different fields, which created a transdisciplinary and enriching environment. Attendees ranged from active residents to non-profit organizations, both local and external, and private companies guided by a socio-environmental commitment. Governmental employees, such as the Director of Municipal Emergency Management and a federal employee from the Department of Health and Human Services were also in attendance. In this workshop, different conversations were held regarding the history of Vieques, how it was affected after Hurricane Maria, and several initiatives for a new energy system in Vieques… The workshop, organized by Footprint, had the purpose of creating an environment to develop solutions.”

Making an Impact: Footprint Project

“In 2016, Will participated in a national Hackathon with the goal of tackling environmental degradation in humanitarian interventions, and the Footprint Project was born. Footprint's service model combines sustainability consulting with clean energy deployment so every humanitarian organization can fulfill their commitment to first do no harm, and every affected community can build back better. They have already accomplished several successful projects.

  • Caguas- Spring 2018, Partnered with Solar Libre to support the installation of a 4kw array with 12kwh of storage for a community kitchen in Puerto Rico.

  • Rampart, Fall 2017, Developed a 3kw array with 10kwh of storage to power a health clinic in Nevada.”

Remote Puerto Rico Community Rebuilds with Microgrid “Like an IKEA Set”

“A lot of the community doesn’t expect the grid back in the way traditional grids exist. They’re looking at solar storage systems,” explains Will Heegaard, CEO of Footprint, an organization with a mission to implement sustainability practices in humanitarian response…

“If the community is to survive the next storm, the only way this will happen is through resilient, distributed renewable generation plus storage system,” he said. “This will be the future of all of our grids. Islands like Puerto Rico will be building the grids that we will all be building in the future as we start to experience extreme weather.”