Social project: Conergy plant for Thai school and children’s orphanage inaugurated

Now that the new solar plant has been put into operation during an inauguration ceremony, it will be providing clean electricity for the 110 youngsters aged four to eighteen living at the Yaowawit home for orphans and socially disadvantaged children and for the attached school. This makes the children true young solar pioneers and the school probably the first such establishment with its own solar plant in the country of smiles. 324 Conergy modules will be producing 227,400 watt hours of electricity per day, supplying the school’s computers and air conditioning systems amongst other things while preventing around 43 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

“We were very happy when we heard about the opportunity to install a solar panel field in Yaowawit, since it will not only give our students the opportunity to learn about how solar energy functions, but it will reduce our energy costs for the next 25 years. The Yaowawit School is very grateful for this generous donation. We are proud to be the first school in the Phang Nga province, maybe even in all of Thailand, to have its own solar panel field. We will do our best to make it a learning centre for both our students and those in the neighbouring communities and serve as a role model for others,” said the head of the school Kunchana Mailaeaid.

The plant was realised thanks to donations from the solar system supplier Conergy, the German Embassy in Thailand and the freight carrier Logwin Air+Ocean Thailand. The German Embassy provided 600,000 Thai baht for the charitable school project, which equates to 15,000 euros. Conergy has been involved in the solar sector in Thailand for many years already and is building its sixth large-scale solar park there. The system supplier did the planning for the plant for free and also supplied the necessary solar components, which Logwin’s Thai subsidiary transported from Germany to Kapong, which is around one and a half hours north of Phuket Airport and 40 minutes west of Khao Lak.

The roots of the school go back to an initiative of the German Federal Foreign Office and a number of German companies located in Thailand in the aftermath of the Tsunami catastrophe 2004. The idea then was to establish a home for Thai orphans who had lost their parents in the floods. The Yaowawit home and the attached school were established in 2006 by the “Children’s World Academy” and inaugurated by Princess Maha Sakri Sirindhorn. Since then, 110 pupils have found a new home here after losing their parents, families and homes.

The home lies in the middle of the rainforest, at the centre of a 25-hectare plantation of mangosteen and oil palms. In 2008, the “Yaowawit Hospitality School & Lodge” was added as the foundation’s first vocational college project. Here, the children are acquainted with the hospitality business to improve their job prospects and enable them to break the poverty cycle. And by growing vegetables and rice, the children also supply the school and hotel kitchen with their own organic produce.

“In today’s renewable energy landscape we talk way too often about return on equity, the affordability of clean energy, subsidies and we tend to neglect the reason behind the global efforts to switch from nuclear power or conventional power to renewables, which is to protect our environment, the environment of our children”, said Conergy Board Member Marc Lohoff at the inauguration. “Today we need to protect the world of tomorrow, the world of these children here in the Yaowawit orphanage. Therefore, the entire Conergy team and I could not think of a better contribution than providing this solar field to this school. We hope that together we can instil the values of sustainability in the next generation.”