Community Engagement
Distributed Energy Resources

Keeping the lights on: at home and around the world

In 2015, APPA is celebrating its 75th Anniversary. We here at APPA wanted to mark that occasion in a way that rings true with public power's mission and its roots — improving people's lives by providing them with reliable, affordable electric power. After all, that is what our members do every day in more than 2,000 communities across the country.

After looking at a number of ideas, APPA decided to celebrate our anniversary by supporting a charity that uses electric light to improve lives in a way we here in the U.S. take totally for granted. I first heard about the charity We Care Solar through my work on the board of directors of the Charitable Foundation of the Energy Bar Association (CFEBA). (Yes, even energy lawyers can have a heart!) CFEBA has supported this charity for the past few years. We Care Solar's mission is simple. It provides portable "solar suitcases" to medical providers throughout the developing world. They use the suitcases to provide the light (and cell phone power) needed to deliver life-saving medical procedures that otherwise have to be done in the dark. As a mother myself, I found the prospect of having to undergo a C-section by flashlight just plain horrifying. So the idea of supporting the use of this innovative technology to help deliver life-saving medical care was a no-brainer for me.

Right now, We Care Solar is concentrating on deploying solar suitcases in West Africa and Nepal. It costs $2,500 to "adopt a health center" — this covers the cost of the solar suitcase, international shipping, local transportation, installation, health worker training, and follow-up. APPA's board has generously authorized the adoption of two suitcases, in honor of APPA's 75th Anniversary. Please consider joining us in marking the anniversary by making a donation (large or small!) to We Care Solar. You can find information on how to give at I cannot think of a better way to exemplify the values of public power and celebrate APPA's 75th Anniversary. I hope you will agree.