Clean energy provider awards local Tulare non-profits

A new clean energy provider is showing their support for the community by awarding local non-profits with small grants to assist their goals and missions

(Rigo Moran)
Brock Linebaugh
Published November 4, 2023  • 
11:00 am

TULARE COUNTY – Vesper Energy, a national company which “provides innovative solutions to today’s complex energy challenges,” recently awarded two of Tulare’s nonprofits with grants to assist their community-driven programs. 

On Oct. 26, Berridge Renewable Energy, Vesper’s local project, announced the recipients of its Quarter 3, 2023 Community Giving Program; Habitat for Humanity Tulare/Kings Counties (HFHTKC) and Salt + Light Works. According to Alex Rohr, Vesper’s community affairs manager, this was done as a way of making sure Vesper pitches in a little bit extra to the community they’re joining.

“We are currently working on Berridge Renewable Energy in Tulare County, which will be a 160 megawatt solar site… that will provide renewable energy and ultimately lower costs,” he said. “We like to support the communities we’re a part of in addition to supporting the power grid as a whole.”

Every quarter of the year, Vesper awards local organizations with funds to assist their projects, such as Salt + Light’s Social Enterprise Program, which aims to employ displaced individuals while simultaneously creating sustainable wellness products.

“While there are a lot of the people in the Valley that are helping folks who experience homelessness, we believe in dignity, which means that we give people a choice with what they want to do,” said Rachel Trigueiro, Salt + Light Works’s director of development. “We don’t just tell them to ‘paint these walls,’ but instead ask them what they’d like to do, like pouring candles or making deodorant.”

(Rigo Moran)

The $4,000 awarded to Salt + Light will be used for safety equipment, such as work boots and uniforms, which will be used by the displaced individuals they hire, in an environment that “promotes healing and self-sufficiency,” according to Adrianne Hillman, the founder and CEO of Salt + Light Works.

Tulare’s local Habitat for Humanity branch aims to assist the community in a similar way, by fixing up and building homes for low-income veterans to give them a place to stay amidst this national housing crisis. They also provide hands-on experience to youth in the community to help them prepare for their future careers in construction.

(Rigo Moran)

“We strive to add affordable housing stock (to the community) through building new homes,” said Bob Hughes, HFHTKC’s executive director. “However, we mostly do critical home repairs for low-income seniors and veterans, while continually advocating for funding at the state and federal level.”

According to Rohr, these two nonprofits were chosen for the grant because Vesper felt that they were “really investing in the future of the community by working hard to improve Tulare County in the long term.” While both organizations applied for the grant, they were initially contacted by Berridge, who made them aware of the award after “they had come up in a search” the company had conducted to see how they could best assist the community they were joining.

“Berridge Renewable Energy is thankful for the opportunity to support these outstanding organizations and invest in the Tulare County community,” Rohr stated in their official press release. “We look forward to continued partnership and collaboration with organizations across the community as we create a stronger, more sustainable Tulare County together.”

Rohr also noted during his interview with The Sun-Gazette that the deadline for their Quarter 4 funding is coming up on Dec. 5, so he encourages other local non-profits to apply so they can further assist the community in whatever way they’re doing so.

Those interested in applying for the  Community Giving Program can do so by visiting Berridge Renewable Energy’s website and navigating to the program’s page.

Brock Linebaugh