Contact: Peter Roby / firstname.lastname@example.org / (617) 951-0430
BOSTON, MA – Citizens Energy President Joseph P. Kennedy III traveled to multiple sites in Southern California last week to announce donations of electric vehicles and lighting systems funded by profits from high-voltage transmission lines developed by the non-profit energy company in partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric.
The latest charitable spending in the Golden State – totaling over $1 million – represents the most recent tranche of profits earned from green energy projects being channeled to organizations serving the needs of low-income households as well as needy families themselves.
“We are a different kind of energy company,” said Kennedy, a former Member of Congress. “We use earnings from successful energy ventures to help families in need wherever we do business. Our growing transmission business is based on a social and environmental justice model we’d like to see replicated across the country, especially with opportunities through new flows of federal funding to prepare the electric grid for decarbonizing our economy.”
The Indian Health Council, Meals on Wheels of San Diego County and the Southern Indian Health Council each received EVs to help them better serve clients while reducing their carbon footprint. The two health centers serve the county’s 18 Native American tribes while Meals on Wheels delivers over 400,000 nutritious meals annually to homebound senior citizens throughout the county. The EV program is financed by profits from the Sycamore-Peñasquitos high-voltage transmission line, which provides greater reliability and resilience to the Southern California grid. Citizens will award EV grants every year over the 30-year life of its investment.
The LED lighting system was installed in the Kennedy Gardens neighborhood of Calexico, California, to provide greater safety and access to public parks named for President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. The neighborhood was developed to provide much-needed decent housing for migrant farmworkers in the Imperial Valley, the poorest area of the Golden State. Kennedy, a former Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, said in both Spanish and English that Citizens Energy was fulfilling a commitment made by his father, Citizens Energy Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II, in the early stages of developing the Sunrise PowerLink, a $2 billion high-voltage line connecting the vast renewable energy resources of Imperial County to San Diego.
“We’re so happy to finally see this day come,” said Kennedy, addressing a public celebration held at nightfall as the lights came on to illuminate children frolicking on swing-sets, basketball courts and ballfields. “We are so proud of being a part of your future. We thank Calexico from the bottom of our hearts. This project really shows what can be done with the development of new energy infrastructure to make everyone part of the solution.” During his appearance in the city, located along the border with Mexico, Kennedy also announced a further grant to complete repairs to the Camarena Heroes Park, named for the late Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Kiki Camarena, a Calexico native killed in the line of duty. The lighting grant amount totals over $260,000.
Citizens also used profits from the Sunrise PowerLink line to build the largest low-income community solar farm in the nation, a 39-megawatt array that provides over $350 in electricity savings annually over the 23-year life of the project to 12,000 low-income households served by the Imperial Irrigation District public power company. The Citizens Imperial Solar Farm, developed in cooperation with IID and SDG&E, is one of over 40 solar arrays built, owned and operated by Citizens Energy.