The projects have been funded by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Twelve 5 kWp plants and one 16 kWp plant will be developed by Sunlabob. The company’s engineering team will work with local partners for the development and commissioning of the systems. Sunlabob will also provide training to the local community members on plant maintenance.
"These projects are directly in line with Sunlabobs tradition: to ensure self-sustaining renewable energy access by empowering community members with the necessary knowledge and skills to keep the systems productive for a long time," said Andy Schroeter, founder and CEO of Sunlabob. "Without local capacity building, development of off-grid energy cannot be sustainable."
The offgrid projects are aimed at supplying reliable electricity supply to universities, training facilities and community centers to enable local enterprise development. The schools and centers will be able to run their computers, internet and other communication tools to improve the education facilities for the local students.
Less than 10% of Sierra Leone’s population has access to electricity and prices are very high for those who do have it. Sunlabob has already designed, installed and provided community training for three solar PV projects totaling 53 kWp in three industrial growth centers in the villages of Bo, Kpandebu and Pujehun. Each center is providing agricultural entrepreneurship training and development for rural youth and young adults in underprivileged communities.