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Sterling Planet and Solar Light for Africa Install More Solar Energy

Posted on 1/12/2011 by in renewable energy solar partnerships Sustainability

More schools in Sierra Leone, Uganda and Tanzania now powered by sun

Atlanta, GA, January 12, 2010 – Sterling Planet, a leading national provider of renewable energy and other clean-energy assets, and Solar Light for Africa (SLA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming and empowering the lives of Africans with solar energy, announced today the completion of new solar projects in the three African nations of Sierra Leone, Uganda and Tanzania.

The solar photovoltaic facilities are bringing light and power to schools and other public facilities, supporting education and helping create new economic opportunities for the people of Africa living in remote and often war-torn villages. Sterling Planet contributes to the cause by donating solar equipment, as well as human resources. Onsite project management is the role of Solar Light for Africa, which has completed 2,500 solar installations in eight African countries since 1997.

“Now when the sun goes down in Africa, there is still light from stored solar energy in places that may have just been introduced to electricity,” says Alden Hathaway, who serves as President of the SLA Board of Directors even while leading business development activities at Sterling Planet “This means economic opportunity from increased productivity and the ability of young people to continue their studies at night using a clean energy source. During the day, solar energy gives students access to the 21st century, electrifying computers and other educational media and enabling internet connections via satellite.”

Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, Sterling Planet and the Atlanta International Fellowship (AIF) have installed 1.3 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic panels at the Sierra Leone International Mission School (SLIMS) in the west African nation of Sierra Leone. Located on the outskirts of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, the private school teaches 3,300 students in grades 1-12 and serves as a community center for adult education, enrichment and job training.

The new solar equipment triples the school’s previous capacity for solar power generation and supplies electricity in a quantity that would be sufficient to illuminate 100 African homes.

“With these new rooftop solar panels, we are able to power up computers, lights and other school equipment that we expect to lead to creation of new economic opportunities and more prosperous futures for our nation’s young people,” said Pastor Lebbie, who heads the school. “We recognize that this ample, reliable supply of electricity will equip us to educate children during the day and adults during the evening hours.”

Uganda

In Uganda, 20 solar lighting systems, donated by Sterling Planet, have been installed by SLA summer youth mission teams in 2009 and 2010 at the Good Samaritan School and Orphanage in Masaka and at the Maranatha School near Mityana. There are also three new individual installations at schools in the Ntungama Region, thanks to a generous donation by the Crystal City Rotary Club in honor of Uganda’s First Lady, Janet Museveni, who serves as patron to the organization.

Beyond meeting current needs, the solar installations are also inspiring progress.“Your faithfulness in returning to Uganda encourages us to solve our energy problems,” said Janet Museveni, Uganda’s First Lady.

Tanzania

At the library and administration building for Msalato Seminary in Dodoma, Tanzania, an additional 770 watts of solar energy have been installed recently. Another three new solar installations are powering two remote villages: one in Handali at the youth minister’s home and study center and two more at the Catechist School in Matumbulu.

“We tell our American friends that we wish not to be your project but, rather, your partner,” says Rt. Rev. Mdimi MHogolo, Biship of Central Tanganyika. “This accomplished solar electrification of Msalato demonstrates this partnership in action as it assists our work in training and equipping our priests to serve their remote villages.”

Progress will continue in 2011, with Sterling Planet continuing to donate solar equipment for installation in Africa. This summer, SLA is again sending teams to Uganda and Tanzania to bring light to remote villages.



About Sterling Planet: Sterling Planet has been a national leader in innovative clean-energy solutions since 2000. The first company with a nationwide retail offer of wind, solar, biomass and other forms of renewable energy, Sterling Planet has delivered billions of kilowatt-hours in the form of renewable energy certificates in both voluntary and mandated markets, , creating an environmental benefit comparable to taking nearly 5 million cars off the road for a year. The client base includes 2,197 corporations, 149 utility partners, 312 government agencies and 74 colleges and other educational institutions. Sterling Planet also offers carbon offsets to offset greenhouse gas emissions and White Tags® energy efficiency certificates, which the company introduced to the U.S. in 2006. With a focus on the “triple bottom line” of social, environmental and economic sustainability, Sterling Planet invests in solar electrification projects that are bringing hope and opportunity to remote African villages. www.sterlingplanet.com

About Solar Light for Africa: Solar Light for Africa was founded in 1997 by The Rt. Rev. Alden M. Hathaway (now retired) of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Originally conceived as a way to get solar-powered electric light installed at an orphanage for babies and children who have lost parents to the AIDS pandemic, Solar Light for Africa quickly grew as both church and state made appeals for the organization to raise funds to help electrify the rural parts of East Africa. Over its 14-year history, Solar Light for Africa has installed solar power for over 2,500 facilities, including 200 schools, 100 health clinics, three hospitals (complete with solar-powered community water systems) and three entire villages.
Solar Light for Africa has recently been recognized in a case study by the US Agency for International Development for its electrification of health facilities in Uganda (2006) and was selected for the 2006-2007 “Catalogue for Philanthropy” as one of Washington, DC’s top 70 charities. In 2009 Solar Light for Africa was recognized by African Charities and was included in its Joint Federal Campaign. www.solarlightforafrica.org
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