Sempra Foundation donates more than $350,000 to Grid Alternatives to help advance energy access in tribal communities
GRID’s Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund will bring solar savings to local California tribal communities
SAN DIEGO and OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 13, 2021 — Sempra Foundation, founded by Sempra, has donated more than $350,000 to GRID Alternatives to help advance energy access in California tribal communities by developing, financing and implementing solar power projects. About 200 kilowatts of solar capacity will be installed at single-family residences and apartment buildings at four reservations in San Diego County and Bishop, California, supporting more than 200 tribal members. The installations will be completed through the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund (TSAF), a tribal-led initiative that supports tribes in achieving their renewable energy goals.
“Energy access is critical to empowering communities, reducing emissions and building an equitable future for all,” said Lisa Alexander, director and board chair of Sempra Foundation. “Access to cleaner and more reliable forms of energy makes sustainable development possible — and we are proud to support this work in tribal communities throughout California.”
Nationally, a disproportionate number of Native American households live in energy poverty, with 14.2% having no access to reliable energy — more than 10 times the national average. TSAF addresses barriers by building renewable energy infrastructure that is cost-effective, engages broad tribal participation, and builds climate resiliency.
“Solar energy and workforce training is critical to building energy sovereignty in tribal communities,” says Tanksi Clairmont, director of the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund.
GRID Alternatives is a national leader in providing access to clean, affordable, renewable energy to economic and environmental justice communities in the U.S. and internationally. GRID Alternatives’ work to install solar projects in tribal communities typically reduces energy bills for households by 75-90%, savings that can be re-invested in other priorities.
“With this support, TSAF is catalyzing the leadership of our tribal partners in reaching their renewable energy goals,” says Adam Bad Wound, founder of the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund.
This project is part of a broader commitment by Sempra Foundation to help improve lives and help build stronger, more resilient communities by expanding energy access. In September, Sempra Foundation and GRID Alternatives announced that they were working to install solar projects to help improve energy access for communities with environmental justice concerns in Mexico. Additionally, last month, Sempra Foundation announced a contribution to Fundación Mozcalti, a nonprofit organization based in Tijuana, Baja California, to deliver cleaner cook stoves across five states in Mexico.
About Sempra Foundation
Founded by Sempra in 2007, Sempra Foundation has long been focused on investing its energy and resources into efforts that make a real difference for people when they need it most. Sempra Foundation is exploring the issue of energy access by looking to understand energy poverty at a deeper level and determine how it can help shape a vibrant future for all going forward.
The foundation also has a long history of investing in relief efforts when disasters strike, including wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes and other events. Sempra Foundation encourages community engagement among the 19,000 employees who work for Sempra and its operating companies by matching employee contributions of time and money to any eligible 501(c)(3) charitable organization they choose to support, helping them to deliver their energy with purpose in communities.
About Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund
About the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund GRID Alternatives’ Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund was launched in 2018 with a 3-year, $5 million grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. Since 2010, GRID has partnered with tribes in a community-centric approach to increase renewable energy capacity, resilience and energy sovereignty. The fund builds on this work to provide grants that catalyze the growth of solar energy and expand solar job opportunities in tribal communities across the United States. To further expand access to renewable energy in tribal communities, TSAF welcomes new donors and partnerships to contribute to the fund. For more information, visit tribalsolar.org.