On March 1, 2014 living conditions improved for people in Kitui, Kenya. Together with SMA and other companies, Energía Sin Fronteras opened a new 44,280-watt PV system in Nyumbani Village. More than 1,000 orphans infected with HIV/AIDS live in the ecovillage.
Solar power for the vocational school and orphanage
The system comprises 216 PV modules with an output of 205 watts each, and provides power for the ecovillage’s vocational school, directly or indirectly benefiting more than 4,100 people. The direct beneficiaries are 100 vocational school students, more than 1,000 children and 100 grandparents who live there; nearly all of them have lost their families to AIDS.
Savings: over 1,000 liters of diesel fuel
The PV system produces around 45 kW of electrical power, equivalent to lighting a five-story office building with an area of 1,200 m2 per floor. The PV system provides the vocational school with electricity. During the two-hour lunch break and on weekends, the generated power is used to pump water for the village (the system produces enough electricity to pump 74,000 liters of water per hour during the hours of most sunlight).
Investing in health, education and employment
The PV system saves the local administration over 10,000 liters of diesel fuel annually. This frees up resources for health and education measures as well as for creating more jobs. At the same time, the administration is demonstrating a strong commitment to environmental protection and preservation.
About the project
Nyumbani Village was founded in 2005 by the Father Angelo D’Agostino, a Jesuit priest and physician from the U.S. The village is largely self-sufficient in terms of housing, food supply and education (e.g., primary and secondary school, vocational education) for the 1,000 children and the 100 grandparents who care for them, including the complex’s medical personnel, teachers and service staff.
SMA Iberica and Energía Sin Fronteras are promoting the use of renewable energy by vulnerable communities living in remote areas. The sustainability of the project is especially essential to the NGO. That’s why the village administration is collectively contributing to the system’s technical maintenance and monitoring. The project is subsidized by SMA and other companies such as SunPower, Hidroeléctrica del Cantábrico, Iberdrola, Generalia, Praxia and Tudor.
For this project SMA used the Sunny Tripower 15000 TL-EE and Sunny Island 6.0H PV inverters as well as the Sunny Island Multicluster Box and the SMA Sunny WebBox monitoring system. These devices combine to form the ideal solution for remote areas like the ecovillage in Kitui, where only limited energy resources are available.
Eva Pijuan (guest author)
Eva works in the Marketing department at SMA Ibérica. She takes care of the communications, website and advertising campaigns. In her spare time she likes doing sports. Mountain biking and human tower acrobatics are her favorites.