Skip to main content

Honnold Foundation

Puerto Rico Microgrid


About the Honnold Foundation

The Honnold Foundation (HF) partners with grassroots and community-based organizations to increase access to solar energy, reduce environmental impact, and improve people’s lives. Founded by professional rock climber Alex Honnold in 2012, our work is multifaceted, centering on three principal strategies:

  1. investing in energy resilience through grantmaking and financial support to grassroots organizations around the world,
  2. empowering strong organizations and networks by offering focused capacity building and mentorship to our grantee partners, and
  3. amplifying grassroots voices through partner-driven storytelling and media opportunities.

Since 2019, our impact has scaled rapidly to reach over 50 partners around the world. To learn more about our impact and future direction, see our most recent Impact Report and our newly developed Strategic Plan.

The Honnold Foundation is committed to equity and inclusion and encourages inquiries and applications from BIPOC and LGBTQ+ individuals, and other people from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

About the Puerto Rico Microgrid

In 2019, HF partnered with Casa Pueblo to design and build Puerto Rico’s first cooperatively managed, community-owned solar microgrid. When completed the 187kw microgrid will provide clean, reliable power to 13 small businesses in the small town of Adjuntas and will set a precedent for energy access throughout Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. With the support of the electric car company Rivian, the microgrid is accompanied by 1MW of battery storage that can power the business for up to 10 days in the case of a power outage. The microgrid is owned and managed by its own local nonprofit entity, ACESA who, upon its completion, will act as the local energy utility charging and collecting lower than normal usage rates. ACESA will then reinvest usage fees back into the community to support local community-determined development projects.

The Opportunity:

This year marks the final stage of the Adjuntas project. To prepare for the transfer of ownership, the intern will support the development of ACESA's non-profit management and operations plan. This plan will include:

  • Overview of financial systems and the non-profit’s structure
  • Organizational chart detailing roles and responsibilities
  • Usage fee collection guidelines
  • Community reinvestment guidelines
  • Disaster resiliency plan

The intern will work closely with HF’s program manager, Cynthia Arellano, and key ACESA stakeholders throughout the project. It is expected that the intern will travel to Puerto Rico at least one to two times over the internship period to speak with community partners.

In addition to the above project, the intern will be encouraged to integrate into the HF staff as much as possible through attending staff meetings, co-working sessions, meeting with individual staff and board members and taking part in other activities as appropriate.

The ideal candidate will be a Master’s student, or someone with similar experience, who is skilled at researching and compiling business and financial management plans. This person is collaborative, detail-oriented, open to feedback, and thrives with minimal oversight. Experience with Google Drive and Slack and a background in community development fields is preferred. 

Additional qualifications include:

  • This position is fully remote; Zoom, Google Drive, and Slack are essential tools
  • Ability to travel 1 - 2 times for up to 10 days at a time to Puerto Rico
  • Ability to collaborate with a diverse set of community partners and stakeholders
  • Spanish language capabilities highly preferred

How to Apply:

Please submit:

  • Your resume
  • A cover letter (no more than 2 pages) to include:
    • Your interest in this project
    • Any relevant background/experience
    • Why you believe this work is important
    • Share any important identity or identities you hold. Note that this is completely optional. Examples of identities that may be important to you might include (but are not limited to): gender, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, generation, education level, cultural identity, occupation, sexuality, family structure, housing status, mental health (health status/ability), incarceration status, institution affiliation, primary language, religion, immigration status, medical history, first-generation, income/ socio-economic class, quality of education, occupation, and/or parent’s education.
  • Note that additional documents will not be reviewed

Please email the above directly to contact@honnoldfoundation.orgwith “Yale Planetary Solutions Internship Program in Clean Energy/Honnold” in the subject line. Please also copy Application deadline is 11:59 PM ET on March 27th.