The solar-powered disaster response trailer sits outside of the Charlotte Convention Center. Footage by Picnic Table for WJ Communications.

By Evelyn Warren, WJ Communications

Today the Charlotte Convention Center, a venue recently awarded for its energy and environmental design, hosted a newly unveiled solar-powered disaster response trailer, a collaborative product of work being done by The United Methodist Committee on Relief and North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, the Footprint Project, Cherry Street Energy and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.

As climate change exacerbates more frequent and extreme heat waves, hurricanes, and other climate disasters, fossil fuels are still the go-to source of backup power during emergencies. Solar microgrid trailers, which provide clean power, are easily towed to where they are needed most during an emergency—to power cell phones, Wi-Fi, refrigeration, lighting, medical devices and other critical services. With multiple natural disasters across the West, the team was engaged by the words of the Rev. Jenny Phillips, director of environmental sustainability at GBGM, who walked the team through the initiative’s vision.

The solar microgrid trailer is a tangible example of The United Methodist Church’s commitment to creation care and environmental stewardship. This practical implementation of solar energy in disaster response efforts, is just one way that the general agencies of The United Methodist Church are leaning into their pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 across ministries, facilities, operations and investments.

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