For immediate release:
Contact: Bill Powers, (619) 295-2072
Grants Available for Imperial County
San Diego, Sept. 22, 2015 – The Protect Our Communities Foundation (POC) is offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for conserving land in Imperial County and for farmers in the region displaced by renewable energy projects.
POC is seeking qualified recipients for projects such as the installation of water conservation technology, energy efficiency, restoration of damaged farmlands, conservation or agricultural easements and support for sustainable or organic farming, as well as programs that provide jobs or vocational training for displaced farmers.
The non-profit foundation hopes to award nearly $350,000, with individual grants of up to $100,000. The application deadline is October 10, 2015, with details contained in the full request for proposals (attached).
The funds resulted from legal settlements that POC reached with developers of projects related to the Sunrise Powerlink, the $2 billion electric transmission line San Diego Gas & Electric built from Imperial County into San Diego.
POC opposed construction of the transmission line – advertised by SDG&E as needed to bring solar energy to San Diego – because of its huge cost, its environmental impact on pristine areas and the greater energy security provided by local, smaller-scale distributed renewable generation. The Foundation believes it is cheaper, better for the environment and more secure to emphasize the construction of rooftop photovoltaic systems within developed areas.
“While we failed to halt the Sunrise Powerlink, we hope to use some of the funds generated from the settlements to protect endangered land and help farmers who lost their land because of related projects,” said Bill Powers, a member of POC’s board and a professional electric systems engineer.
“Through these grants, we hope to develop some good projects from what is otherwise an expensive mistake.”
Organized in 2009, the Protect Our Communities Foundation is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the natural environment in San Diego and Imperial County. POC strongly supports the development of distributed renewable generation – in particular rooftop solar – as a cheaper and more environmentally responsible alternative to industrial solar and wind projects on heretofore unspoiled land.