The Alternative Technology Association, an Australian-based not-for-profit group has installed hundreds of household solar lighting system across 12 villages in East Timor as reported by PV Tech.
The 2-year project was completed in partnership with two local partners, Natiles and CNFP and with funding from the Google Impact Challenge 2014, four East Timor Friendship Groups and public donations.
After the pilot projects, it now has 607 solar systems installed in villages in the districts of Aileau, Baucau and Viqueque, benefiting 4,000 people. Natiles provided the community with training and helping them setup their own maintenance fund, while the CNEFP trained 30 local technicians to install, repair and maintain the systems.
Participating villagers pay a US$10.00 installation fee followed by a monthly subscription of $2.00. The funds collected will be held by the management committee to fund any ongoing maintenance and repairs.
The solar lighting systems allow villagers to charge mobile phones through the USB port and to work or study at night. The systems are designed to be easy to fix and to be tamper-proof. The non-profit group has worked closely with the East Timor Government and the United Nations Development program on the future of East Timor’s renewable energy rollout since 35% of the households still have no access to the grid.
Featured Image Credit: tonyforster2