New Orleans

‘Resilience hubs’ to aid local disaster response efforts – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2022-06-29 10:20:46 –

A new PV initiative aimed at supporting disaster response efforts in New Orleans is federally funded to begin construction.

The $ 3.8 million commitment will help pay for the first phase of 24 solar and battery-powered “Resilience Hubs” in churches and community centers in South Louisiana, including 16 in New Orleans.

The start of the pilot phase of 24 sites and the resilience and disaster response strategies of the community lighthouses will be labeled on Tuesday by one of the resilience hub sites, the Household of Faith Church, or the Community Lighthouse Project. It was announced at.

The event on Tuesday will feature local, state, and federal officials and members of Together New Orleans, the advocate for the community lighthouse project, after a grid failure in southern Louisiana following an extratropical cyclone in 2021. I attended.

“Community Lighthouse, just after the pilot phase, will be the world’s largest network of renewable energy resilience hubs,” said Pierre Moses, a solar and storage developer who provides technical assistance to the project by TogetherNew Orleans. ..

The goal is to create a community-wide network of 85-100 “ighthouses” across Louisiana. Each is equipped with a commercial scale solar system with backup battery capacity that can assess needs and resources in the event of a power outage and assist the surrounding area.

Construction of the first lighthouse site is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2023, with some sites up and running by the peak of the 2023 hurricane season. The goal is for the entire population of New Orleans to live within a 15-minute walk from one of the lighthouses.

The price tag for the lighthouse network is estimated at $ 40 million. The cost of installing a panel and battery in a large facility is just under $ 1 million. Medium-sized facilities cost about $ 430,000. The average small facility is about $ 150,000. The project is funded through public-private partnerships, federal funding, philanthropy, and equity funding from tax-deducted investors.

At the event on Tuesday, U.S. Congressman Troy Carter was approved by the House Expenditure Committee for his $ 3.8 million request for the project and was included by the Energy, Water, Development and Related Agency Expenditure Subcommittee. I announced in the video that I am. The final federal spending bill for 2023.

“The most dangerous time is often shortly after a hurricane, especially if a power outage makes it impossible to maintain air conditioning, store food, or stay connected. This microgrid project is an innovative, sustainable and self-sufficient program that will help our community stay safe and healthy after a storm, “Carter said.

Other commitments include a $ 1 million founding grant from the Greater New Orleans Foundation. $ 750,000 from Direct Relief, a global humanitarian organization. Also, with a technical assistance grant from the US Department of Energy, the Community Lighthouse Project has been designated as one of only 14 projects nationwide to receive assistance.

Andi Kopplin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, said: “Our area is very familiar with disasters and the devastating impact they have on our community. The Community Lighthouse Project helps nonprofit partners respond more quickly with the power they need. It provides important tools and resources that allow non-profit partners to provide food, water and supplies and become places and shelters when the local population needs them most. “

The Community Lighthouse Project has four goals: 1) Resilience when the grid is stopped. 2) Stronger disaster response capability. 3) Local investment in renewable energy. 4) Labor training and work to install the necessary equipment and operate the facility. In the event of a power outage, the community lighthouse can carry out a needs assessment to determine the nearby resources needed by the inhabitants. There are charging stations, battery distribution, food preparation and distribution, cooling / heating stations, oxygen exchange / light medical device availability.

Launched in Baltimore in 2014, the Resilience Hub is gaining popularity in poorly serviced communities in major cities where post-disaster emergencies and crisis responses have historically expired or failed.Urban Sustainability Director Network Quote There are approximately 40 resilience hubs in the United States and Canada at various stages...

The hub has a water supply system with access to safe drinking water. They can serve as a communication hub for residents and a single point of information access. Resilience Hub leaders can hold events and programs year-round to promote disaster response best practices. Additional benefits of this PV initiative include solar panels that offset the power consumption of the building and reduce electricity costs.

The New Orleans sites for the Resilience Hub pilot phase are:

  • Bethlehem Lutheran Church
  • Broadmoor Community Church
  • Central Missionary Baptist Church
  • City Park / Lake View (Undecided)
  • Community church unitarian
  • Cornerstone United Methodist
  • Corpus Christi-Epiphany Catholic
  • CrescentCare Community Health Center
  • First Grace UMC
  • First Unitarian Universalist Church
  • Gentry location (undecided)
  • Holly Grove / Carrollton Location (TBD)
  • Family Church of Faith
  • Pleasant Valley Baptist Church
  • Paul Lutheran (Mariny)

In addition, eight areas other than New Orleans have been identified as lighthouse sites, although details of the specific location have not yet been finalized. They include:

  • East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Jefferson Diocese – East Bank
  • Jefferson Parish – West Bank
  • Lake Charles
  • New Wine Christian Fellowship-St. John the Baptist Parish
  • Plaque Mins Parish
  • Bernard Diocese
  • Terbonne / La Forche

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