The Honnold Foundation, a solar energy access nonprofit founded in 2012 by prominent rock climber Alex Honnold and Sunrun have announced a new fundraising campaign to catalyze innovation in solar energy access in underserved communities around the world.
Launched today, the Innovation Fund will identify and fund grassroots organizations using solar energy to address social and economic disparities in frontline communities around the world.
Grantee Partners will be scalable and precedent-setting, and show how solar can be an elegant, multifaceted solution to address global energy inequity. From the Indian Himalayas to the Ecuadorian Amazon, Memphis to the Navajo Nation, Partners’ solutions may power education, access to clean water, river transportation in the Amazon and more.
With the goal of raising at least $1 million over the next 12 months, the Honnold Foundation will be responsible for administering the fund and selecting and supporting grantees. Sunrun is making a monetary contribution to the Innovation Fund of $50,000 — as a match to other donations that will be received through fundraising efforts in December.
“Rooftop solar gives nonprofits the power to reduce their energy bills — while doing something good for the environment — so that they can continue focusing on the impactful work that they do,” said Alex Honnold, Founder of the Honnold Foundation. “We’re excited to be partnering again with Sunrun to expand our impact, help our existing grantee Partners scale, and help communities around the world switch to renewable energy.”
In September 2020, Honnold Foundation and Sunrun launched the Community Fund, a program donating solar installations to potentially reduce carbon emissions and utility bills of BIPOC-led nonprofit organizations providing community services, including shelters, food banks and arts or education centers. The Community Fund has installed nearly 60 kW of solar energy capacity on four projects in Memphis, Detroit and Houston. An additional project in Petersburg, Virginia, is expected to be online by early-2022.
“We are so excited to partner again with the Honnold Foundation on such an important initiative to bring energy equity to everyone,” said Mary Powell, CEO of Sunrun. “Sunrun is committed to improving environmental equity and justice for all, and the Innovation Fund will help deliver the many benefits of clean, solar energy to hundreds of thousands of residents in historically disadvantaged communities.”
The Innovation Fund call for applications will open in January 2022, and will welcome applications from community-based organizations serving marginalized communities in the U.S. and around the world.
News item from The Honnold Foundation