SunEdison has been the darling of the clean technology news for a few weeks now, and they’re at it again, announcing that they intend to “electrify 20 million people in underserved communities around the world.”
The ambitious plan will be led by SunEdison Social Innovations, “a global group focused on developing new business models and new technologies which make renewable energy in rural communities economically sustainable over the long term, while also contributing to social and environmental benefits to the community.”
As CleanTechnica’s Tina Casey covered on Wednesday, SunEdison Social Innovations has already been working hard, “quietly introducing solar water pumps to farming communities for the past few years.” In addition, the Social Innovations team have helped more than 250,000 people across the world through strategic partnerships focusing on three separate areas: new business models, new technology, and charitable donations.
“Billions of people worldwide don’t have access to electricity,” said Ahmad Chatila, President and Chief Executive Officer at SunEdison. “Without electricity they can’t access many of the things we take for granted – health clinics with vaccines, or schools with computers and fans. But by applying a mix of new business models, new technology, and charitable donations, we are tackling the issue head on. We are committing to bringing electricity to one million people by the end of 2015, and are targeting to help 20 million people gain access to electricity by 2020.”
One of the ways that SunEdison is working to bring clean and reliable energy to places like India and Nepal is the Outdoor Microstation. The Outdoor Microstation is a stand-alone power generation unit that provides renewable energy by way of solar panels, in a stand-alone unit useful for off-grid applications in hard-to-service remote areas.
The Outdoor Microstation comes in two flavors — the 3,500 volt-amperes version and a 650 volt-amperes model, which can provide power for up to 25 households, including street lighting, for 5 hours each night, or 10 households for five hours each night respectively.
Another way that SunEdison is working to help previously overlooked communities is through raising charitable donations in conjunction with the SunEdison Foundation.
“We have donated and installed 344 kilowatts of solar systems for 28 schools and clinics to date, which has positively impacted more than 16,000 people,” said Alakesh Chetia, President of Social Innovations at SunEdison.
“Our latest donation is a 5.2 kilowatt system installed at a school on the off-grid island of Gilutongan, in the Philippines. This system is the largest system ever donated to an island in the Philippines. The school had no access to electricity during the day to power the 11 computers owned by the school. By donating a solar system to the school, we have given these children a means to learn with computers. This will improve computer literacy for the area, which will have a powerful economic impact further down the road as the children enter the job market.”