SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable energy development company, today announced at New York Summit on rural electrification an ambitious plan to electrify 20 million people in underserved communities around the world.
The initiative 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.
“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.”
The Social Innovations team has already started working toward its goal and has helped more than 250,000 people worldwide through strategic partnerships focused on three key areas: new business models, new technology, and charitable donations.
To find out more about SunEdison Social Innovations and our mission please visit www.sunedison.com/social_innovations.
New business models
SunEdison is developing new ways to bring electricity to the people who need it most through a series of partnerships and innovative business models.
In India, SunEdison and Omnigrid Micropower Company (OMC) are electrifying rural villages by pairing commercial solar customers with local villagers. Telecom companies need their cellular towers powered. Villagers need electricity. A solar electric mini grid providing electricity for both of them is the answer.
The mini grid is first built to power the tower – the tower becomes the anchor for the project. With this in place, SunEdison and OMC develop additional mini grid capacity that can be sold to the local villagers.
By pairing high credit telecom companies with low to no credit villagers the entire project becomes bankable. It is a mutually beneficial relationship – the telecom companies save money by powering their telecom towers with cost-effective solar energy, while the hundreds of families that live around each tower get access to electricity that can be used for lights, fans and mobile phone chargers.
With a target of 5,000 solar power plants to be developed over the next 5 years, the SunEdison-OMC partnership expects to help more than 10 million people.
In Nepal, SunEdison is partnering with SunFarmer to amplify the benefits of electricity by providing solar systems to remote hospitals, health clinics, and schools. Their latest innovation is a five to seven year rent-to-own loan. The loan was designed to fit the needs of less affluent organizations by spreading the cost of the solar system over a longer term than is typically available. Financed in this way, solar delivers lower cost energy than diesel generators and brings with it the certainty that the energy prices are not going to fluctuate.
To date, SunFarmer and SunEdison have positively impacted 250,000 people to date through this program and are set to expand to geographic regions beyond Nepal, with the goal of bringing electricity to 7 million people by 2020.
The new Outdoor Microstation is now available for deployment. The Outdoor Microstation is a stand-alone power generation unit that provides renewable and reliable electricity for a variety of off-grid applications in hard-to-service remote areas.
It can be used to quickly and cost effectively power households and small businesses, illuminate public places, supply energy to clinics and health centers, power water pumps or irrigation systems, or provide electricity to telecommunications systems. These systems can be deployed quickly – in less than a day, a village that was dark the night before can experience electricity by sundown As an added benefit, the Outdoor Microstation protects against rising and fluctuating diesel fuel costs.
The new SunEdison Outdoor Microstation can power 25 households for five hours each night and takes just four to six hours to set up.
The above is an excerpt of SunEdison To Bring Electricity To 20 Million People By 2020 by SunEdison. Image & Video Credit: SunEdison. Full Article at PR Newswire.