SEATTLE, Washington — Empowered By Light is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving communities with renewable energy technology. Empowered By Light enables clean energy without the use of fossil fuels. Its first project began in 2011 in Zambia. The organization is filled with teams devoted to making the operations run smoothly. The systems that are used are sustainable for a large amount of time and are remotely monitored for any issues. This organization has helped many communities and schools across the globe.
Empowered By Light supplies microgrid solar panels so that more communities can have access to electricity. The motive behind the use of microgrid solar panels is to produce a healthy living environment and decrease air pollution to improve the quality of life. In addition, the solar panels provide electricity to those within the community who struggle financially or who do not have access to reliable light sources.
Bringing Light to Sioma High School
Located in Western Zambia, Sioma High School has relied solely on three outdated generators fueled by diesel that cost the school $26,000. As a result, it had created an unhealthy and loud learning environment until Empowered By Light stepped in. Through fundraising, Empowered By Light was able to raise $200,000 and received large amounts of equipment donation. These included solar panels from Suntech and batteries and inverters from SMA and Rolls Surrette.
In this project, Empowered By Light provided the high school with a 24kW solar microgrid with battery storage. This system produces 43,800 kWh annually throughout the school, which consists of four dormitories, seven classrooms, kitchens and dining halls. The solar microgrid provides and maintains clean energy throughout the entire campus. One year after the installation of the renewable energy source, Sioma High School’s exam rates increased by 89 percent proving the positive impact it had on the learning environment.
This organization has visited the Amazon Basin on two different occasions where thousands of Indigenous communities still reside. Among these communities are the Munduruku people. The livelihood of the Munduruku is affected each day by the prospects of dams that could threaten their rainforest homes and their everyday lives. Poverty and conservation have made it difficult for the Munduruku to improve in many aspects of their lives. In July 2016 and April 2017, Empowered By Light installed microgrid solar panels so the indigenous communities are able to store food in solar-powered freezers as well as produce light and charge cell phones to improve interconnectivity with neighboring communities.
Empowered By Light is an organization that shines its light on communities in need. Their commitment to providing clean, renewable and reliable energy has positively changed the lives of the communities they’ve helped. With these new microgrid solar panels, the future is a little brighter.
– Jessica Curney