Microsoft, Schneider Electric, & LG Solar USA Come Together For The Footprint Project

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Earlier this fall, or late summer, Hurricane Ida devastated my state. I was left without power for almost a week, and during the first 24–36 hours, we had very little communication. Baton Rouge was one of the luckier cities, though, and for that I’m grateful. Cities such as New Orleans, La Place, and all of southeast Louisiana were not so lucky, but many people pitched in to help. One such organization was The Footprint Project. I interviewed CEO Will Heegaard — you can read that here.

Today, The Footprint Project had a major announcement (good news) and I wanted to share that. The organization shared a thread on Twitter along with a video announcing that they are partnering with Microsoft and Schneider Electric to deploy cloud-connected mobile microgrids to communities affected by climate disasters.

Schneider Electric donated an inverter and provided expert volunteers. Microsoft and TEDxSeattle featured The Footprint Project’s Work. Cherry Street Energy donated a Relion Battery and LG Solar USA donated the modules for a solar trailer build. Schneider Electric donated an inverter and provided expert volunteers. Microsoft and TEDxSeattle featured The Footprint Project’s Work. Cherry Street Energy donated a Relion Battery and LG Solar USA donated the modules for a solar trailer build.

The video that The Footprint Project shared was created by Microsoft, and the company noted that Schneider Electric, which won the Sustainability Changemaker Partner of the Year Award, enabled The Footprint Project to provide equitable access to electricity after Hurricane Ida. The Footprint Project was able to scale its impact by developing on Microsoft Cloud.

Lakecia Gunter, Vice President and General Manager IOT Global Channel Sales at Microsoft, narrated the video and pointed out that as the climate crisis grows, more communities around the world will feel the impact. This includes my own. She emphasized that climate change is a disruptive force and Microsoft understands that there’s a need for new sustainability solutions.

Lance Haines, Schneider Electric’s Chief Technology Officer for Microgrids, shared that the company feels a great sense of urgency around combatting climate change.

“It goes beyond just environmental sustainability. We see sustainability also as giving back to the communities. When I think about Footprint’s response to Hurricane Ida, they realized going into it that they had only the ability to deploy three mobile microgrids. And so they reached out to the microgrid community at large and they were able to deploy over 20 sites.”

You can watch the full video here.

More Words of Thanks

As a resident of Louisiana who was also impacted by Ida, I think it’s healing and heartwarming that there are organizations such as The Footprint Project out there using renewables to help our community.

My neighborhood lost power for almost a week, and we suffered intense heat and scarce food as a result. Many residents in my area are poor and my landlady is well known for serving the community, but she couldn’t. The Tesla community stepped up to help us in our time of need, and for that, I am extremely grateful. So was the City of Baton Rouge, which held an award ceremony last month. I received an award for the kindness of the Tesla community that helped feed over 150 families and provide them with funds for basic necessities.

My landlady told me that she wanted me to go with her down to City Hall because she was receiving an award for her work in the community. I thought it was to support her. I was completely surprised and humbled because, deep down, it wasn’t me but the Tesla community who deserved this.

I feel that The Footprint Project and all of the other organizations that pitched in and helped us also deserve awards and recognition. And that, as humans, we should all remember to care for one another and this planet.

Climate change is a real threat, and as we continue to live our lives, we continue to contribute to it. There are things out of our control — such as someone littering in a river, someone filling up their gas tank, or an entire industry that lobbies our political systems, lulling them into believing their greenwashing campaigns and that all will be well because they “support” carbon neutrality or whatever. But there are also things we can do in our lives.

I fear that the next hurricane season will be just like the previous two. Since I’ve moved back to Louisiana, I’ve noticed that the storms are bigger and more intense. We need to heal our planet and stop with the political red tape, stop bending over for the fossil fuel companies.

Moving isn’t an option for many. I can self-sustain here. In other cities, I was either on the streets or living with friends. But here, I can afford to live. Also, moving doesn’t solve the problem. It may for the person who moved, but it doesn’t fix the global problem of climate change. We shouldn’t put bandaids on wounds that need deep and intensive treatments.

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Johnna Crider

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

Johnna Crider has 1996 posts and counting. See all posts by Johnna Crider