SolarCity launches Give Power Foundation

U.S. solar power company SolarCity has has announced the launch its Give Power Foundation, a scheme that will donate a solar power system and battery combination to a school in a developing community for every megawatt of residential solar the company installs in 2014.

The Foundation will work primarily with communities in Haiti, Mali, Malawi and Nepal, bringing clean solar power to schools that currently do not have access to the grid.

Figures from the United Nations Development Programme estimate that approximately 291 million primary school children around the globe attend schools that have no electricity – a small snapshot of the 1.4 billion people who live in areas where there is no grid-connected electricity whatsoever.

SolarCity’s Foundation will provide power to these schools in the hope that not only will they make learning easier for the children, but also become community hubs in the evenings, with local adults invited to attend learning courses fueled by the stored solar power system’s battery installation.

"The United Nations has set the ambitious goal of ensuring that everyone in the world has access to electricity by 2030," said SolarCity’s chief revenue officer and the president of the Give Power Foundation, Hayes Barnard. "We are deeply committed to making this happen through the Give Power Foundation."

With 2014 set to become a boom year for residential solar in the U.S., the Foundation could well be the extra incentive needed to convince U.S. citizens that rooftop solar installations are the way to go. "Every SolarCity customer will play a part in giving light to a community in need," added Barnard.

The non-profit, California-based public benefit Foundation hopes to be granted exempt status as a 501c3 organization for 2014, and will partner with international non-profit organization buildOn, which builds schools in developing countries and runs after-school programs in some of the U.S.’s most deprived communities.