April 30, 2024

Sempra Foundation’s climate action grants aim for a cleaner future

The Foundation, funded solely by Sempra, awarded grants to four nonprofit organizations with the goal of reducing emissions and restoring habitats, while supporting communities in need

Two workers installing solar panels

For 17 years, the Sempra Foundation has worked to enrich the lives of communities around the world by making key contributions to organizations working toward a cleaner future. In its most recent round of climate action grants, the Sempra Foundation awarded four nonprofit organizations supporting communities in California, Texas and Mexico.

“We are honored to support charities focused on building brighter futures through clean energy projects that improve affordability in vulnerable communities and nature-based projects that preserve important ecological environments,” Lisa Larroque Alexander, chair of the Sempra Foundation, said. “By working together, we can create transformative change.”

Here is a glance at the nonprofit organizations that recently received grants from the Sempra Foundation, which is solely funded by Sempra.

Creating economic opportunities

The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) is determined to tackle energy poverty, one project at a time. This year, the nonprofit will use a grant from the Sempra Foundation to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at three Boys & Girls Clubs in the McAllen region of South Texas. The electricity generated by these solar systems will enable the centers to lower their utility bills. Savings generated from the systems mean more funding to serve the children.

“Children served at the Boys & Girls Clubs will not only benefit indirectly through savings in utility bills that result from the Sempra Foundation grant, but they will also have an opportunity to learn firsthand about renewable energy solutions, and gain knowledge and experience that could pave the way for a future career in this growing sector,” Bob Freling, executive director of SELF, said. “The best part about seeing a project come to life is observing the very tangible benefits that solar energy can provide. Whether it’s through basic lighting, or powering schools and clinics, or providing the means to pump water for drinking and irrigation, harnessing the power of the sun transforms lives in a very profound and positive way.”

Empowering vulnerable communities

With a mission to empower vulnerable communities, Fundación Mozcalti is utilizing a grant from the Sempra Foundation to bring solar panel water pumps to Puebla, Michoacán and other nearby villages in Mexico. The solar panels will be used in various areas, including a community well to reduce the costs of distributing potable water, installed in a cooperative fish farm and at the El Tecuz ecotechnology school.

“These projects, funded by the Sempra Foundation in collaboration with the Fundación Mozcalti, have significantly contributed to the well-being of the beneficiary communities,” Paula Fuentes, president of Fundación Mozcalti, said. “The implementation of renewable energy and sustainable practices has brought about a positive change in the lifestyle of families, empowering vulnerable groups, and providing new development opportunities.”

Improving tribal energy networks

GRID Alternatives is on a mission to bring clean, affordable, renewable energy, transportation and jobs to communities in need. The nonprofit understands that renewable energy can drive economic growth, benefiting communities impacted by underemployment and pollution. With a grant from the Sempra Foundation, GRID Alternatives National Tribal Program will bring photovoltaic solar panels to the La Jolla Band’s Tribal Elders Hall. The project expects to generate $3,500 of electricity per year and help the tribe save an estimated $250,000 in general energy costs over 20 years.

“As we embark on this journey with the Sempra Foundation, we recognize the significance of empowering tribes to further their goals of energy sovereignty,” Tanksi Clairmont, co-executive director for GRID Alternatives National Tribal Program, said. “Through partnerships and community-driven initiatives, we are advancing renewable energy access and fostering resilience in Indigenous communities.”

Restoring treasured habitats

The Sonoran Institute believes in the power of collaboration to restore the Colorado River Delta and the communities that rely on it. With a grant from the Sempra Foundation, the nonprofit will help restore the Laguna Grande area by irrigating 390 acres and removing invasive species across 420 acres. In addition, the funds will support the Mexicali Fluye Project, a project to implement community and nature-based solutions along a three-mile stretch of a polluted agriculture drain that flows through suburban and urban areas in Mexicali.

“This collaborative effort aims at promoting the establishment of state park of nearly 70,000 acres which would include all the restorations sites along the Colorado River, that would eventually benefit not just the rural communities neighboring the state park, but all of Mexicali as it would be the largest state park ever declared,” Francisco Zamora, senior director of programs for Sonoran Institute, said.