HONOLULU, Hawaii--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company, announced the application process has opened for the First Wind Hawai‘i Community Fund, established to benefit the neighboring communities of its wind projects on Oʹahu. Working with the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, the First Wind Community Fund will provide financial support to nonprofit organizations located in or servicing areas adjacent to the Kahuku and Kawailoa Wind projects.
“As we join Hawai‘i in a long-term partnership to provide clean, renewable energy for the state, we hope to make a difference in the community as well as in the environment,” said Carolyn Unser, First Wind’s Community Outreach Coordinator. “Through the First Wind Community Fund, we look forward to making a significant and lasting impact by helping to build stronger communities.”
The Hawai‘i Community Foundation has established an advisory committee to oversee the Fund and its distribution. Information on the First Wind Community Fund, the application process and annual recipients can be found on the Foundation website.
The First Wind Community Fund falls under the Foundation’s Flex Grant program, which awards nonprofits unrestricted funds to enhance their effectiveness and assist them with meeting ongoing operating expenses and unanticipated costs. These unrestricted funds may be used for a variety of purposes, such as administrative costs, program costs, or salaries. The Fund will give preference to those organizations that support educational, environmental, agricultural and cultural activities.
In 2013, First Wind’s fund supported the following organizations:
- Hawaii Council for the Humanities
- Hi’ipaka, LLC
- Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture
- Malama Pupukea-Waimea
- Manu O Ke Kai Canoe Club
- Oahu Invasive Species Committee
- Ohi’a Productions, Inc.
- The North Shore Community Land Trust
First Wind encourages applications from nonprofits located in or servicing the communities from Hauula to Kaena Point. Interested organizations can apply through the Hawaii Community Foundation website: http://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/grants/first-wind-community-fund
The application process opened on May 1, 2014, and the deadline to submit an application is July 1, 2014, for organizations with Operating Budgets less than $100,000 and July 15, 2014, for organizations with Operating Budgets $100,000 and above.
The First Wind Community Fund formalizes First Wind’s ongoing commitment to its neighboring communities. In 2012 and 2013, First Wind provided Hawai‘i’s communities with more than $300,000 to support environmental sustainability, cultural preservation and educational resources.
In 2013, First Wind made a number of contributions, including:
Donations to 13 programs schools through its DonorsChoose Program,
which supports classroom projects with very tangible impacts. Examples
of programs that benefitted included:
- Circuits and solar energy kits – Sunset Beach Elementary
- Educational supplies – Laie Elementary School
- Document projector – Kahuku Elementary
- An active tour program at its four Hawai‘i projects, involving and educating the public on First Wind’s role in helping Hawai‘i achieve its renewable energy goals and benefit the islands and its environment.
- Three $3,000 scholarships awarded to Hawai‘i high school seniors, along with a $20,000 scholarship to another Hawaii student, through its First Wind Scholars program. The First Wind Scholars program recognizes exceptional students in host communities dedicated to making a difference in the areas of the environment, energy or sciences.
First Wind began operating Kahuku Wind in March 2011 and opened Kawailoa Wind in November 2012. Kawailoa Wind is the largest clean energy project in the state of Hawai‘i, producing enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 14,500 homes, meeting as much as 5-10 percent of the island’s electrical load. First Wind also operates the two phases of the Kaheawa Wind project on Maui.
About First Wind
First Wind is an independent renewable energy company exclusively focused on the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale renewable energy projects in the United States. Based in Boston, First Wind is operating or building renewable energy projects in the Northeast, the West and Hawai‘i, with combined capacity of nearly 1,300 megawatts (MW) – enough to power more than 375,000 homes each year. For more information on First Wind, please visit www.firstwind.com or follow us on Twitter @FirstWind.