Community Solar Projects
to Improve Rural Health and Education
AGUASOL Projects and EDUSOL Projects
After advancing the SO-BASEC programs, Enersol began to shift its program focus to supporting community solar projects aimed at improving health and education.
Currently, 23% percent of rural Hondurans and 22% of rural Dominicans do not have convenient access to a clean and reliable water source. As a result, many suffer from malnutrition, which blocks physical and intellectual development and makes them more susceptible to potentially fatal infectious diseases such as cholera or typhoid.
In 1995 Enersol implemented two pilot renewable energy-powered community water systems. Based upon this pilot model project Enersol developed a total of 17 AguaSol Projects: 13 in the Dominican Republic followed by four in Honduras.
The AguaSol Project model includes a technical system and an institutional system. The technical system includes a tube well with a PV-powered submersible pump that delivers water to a storage tank, from which water is distributed throughout the community. The institutional system involves establishing a community water committee and engaging local PV enterprises to install and maintain the technology.
In 2000 Enersol initiated a pilot project to provide solar-powered computers to enhance rural education. Enersol refined its project model over time and developed a methodology to support local NGOs in managing EduSol projects, which draw upon local technical capacity of PV enterprises and IT enterprises. Enersol benefited from some donations of PV equipment from manufacturers BP Solar and Evergreen Solar [ check out photos from EduSol Projects with Modules from BP Solar ].
Enersol developed and implemented 29 EduSol projects in the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Haiti through 2006, serving more than 1,900 children and their families. In 2007 Jessica Mace documented the lessons learned from the EduSol program in a report titled, “Powering Up: Information Technology for Rural Schools in Latin America and the Caribbean.” [ here's the report: Powering up: Information Technology for Rural Schools in Latin America and the Caribbean ]