Groundswell is working with local partners to design and find locations for Resiliency Hubs throughout the City of Baltimore. Resiliency Hubs provide a centralized, trusted community location where community members can access reliable power for their essential devices, continue to receive information as emergency situations develop, store medications sensitive to temperature, and safely gather in the aftermath of an emergency or severe weather event to allow the community to recover safely and effectively.
To make sure we’re delivering Resiliency Hubs that build community power and ultimately make communities safer during tough times, we’re working with partners like A.F. Mensah and Suncatch to locate potential host sites for these hubs and to determine the best way to bring up to 30 installations to Baltimore. A.F. Mensah is a minority-led solar battery storage company, and Suncatch is a minority-owned solar contractor. The Baltimore Office of Sustainability is also serving as a critical partner in this work.
Resiliency Hubs can also provide emergency supplies like snow blowers, 2-way radios, first-aid kits, and refrigeration for medicine. When equipped with battery storage and solar installations, these hubs can continue to provide electricity needed to power certain critical services even when the local utility grid is down. When disasters strike, it’s important that these resources are available in low-wealth neighborhoods, so residents can thrive — instead of just survive — in extreme weather events, blackouts, and emergency situations.
In June 2020, Groundswell was awarded a Maryland Energy Administration grant with a charge to design Resiliency Hubs throughout the City of Baltimore. This highly-competitive pilot was developed to drive economic growth through innovative clean energy technology which will enable essential services, businesses, and other organizations to resist power disruptions and outages. This program will provide MEA with replicable, scalable, and cost-effective solutions that will serve as models for wide-scale adoption.