The Desert IndependentTM
Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001
First Solar Grants $80,000 to Fund Many Local Community Projects
February 25, 2016
DESERT CENTER, Calif – On February 22, the Desert Sunlight Fund Advisory Board capped off several years of helping the community by awarding nearly $80,000 in grants from the First Solar, Inc. Desert Sunlight Fund to five local non-profit organizations. The grants will provide funds for a dozen projects directly benefitting local residents, and represent the final round of grant awards from the $350,000 Desert Sunlight Fund First Solar committed in May, 2011.
“The Desert Sunlight Fund grants have not only provided our community with vital needs, but also have enriched the lives of our residents and improved our students’ educations,” said Travis Rye, Advisory Board Chairman and local firefighter. “We look forward to enjoying the benefits these new grants will bring to our community.”
The Nazarene Church was awarded several grants including more than $10,000 for a community-wide WiFi system covering much of Lake Tamarisk, providing stable Internet for local homeowners and residents of the Lake Tamarisk Desert Resort 55-plus community; $16,000 to install an emergency generator for the Lake Tamarisk CSA Hall; more than $15,000 to purchase water rescue equipment for Lake Tamarisk Fire Station 49, as well as nearly $10,000 to purchase a thermal imaging camera for Lake Tamarisk Fire Station 49.
The Lions Club was awarded $16,000 to repair and re-paint the interior and exterior of the Lake Tamarisk CSA Hall, received $6,000 for a video projector at the CSA Hall, and was also awarded $1,500 for exercise equipment for fitness classes at the hall.
The Desert Center School District received $1,000 for field trips, including a trip to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, giving students the opportunity to expand their horizons and learn new things beyond the classroom. Friends of the Lake Tamarisk Library was awarded $2,400 for six adult programs focusing on training for computers and tablets, and two children’s programs. Additionally, the Lake Tamarisk Library received $250 for new window blinds.
The General Patton Museum received $1,000 for curatorial enhancements, slated for supplies needed to preserve historical materials.
“The Desert Sunlight Fund has made a lasting impact, supporting deserving causes and making a real difference in the community,” said Laura Abram, First Solar’s Director of Public Affairs. “The grant awards made over the past few years represent First Solar’s commitment to supporting the communities in which we build our projects and being a good neighbor.”
The First Solar Desert Sunlight Fund board, made up of seven community members, awarded $265,000 in grants in 2013, 2014, and 2015 to fund a variety of programs and community improvements including a new playground, Wii fitness stations, laptops for students and teachers, and upgrades to the Lake Tamarisk Library.
The 550 MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm provides enough clean, affordable, energy to power about 160,000 California homes and displace more than 300,000 metric tons of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions per year – the equivalent of taking almost 60,000 cars off the road.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment.
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