South African Youth to Install High Efficiency SunPower PV Solar Panels during Greenpeace Solar Training Course

published: 2011-09-15 16:08 | editor: | category: News

The SunPower Foundation, announced the donation of high efficiency SunPower photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to Greenpeace Africa. The panels will be installed in September by 30 local youth during a two week solar training course in Durban, South Africa, led by Greenpeace. They will learn more about solar PV and other renewable energy technologies as well as complete course modules covering social entrepreneurship and Greenpeace's Energy ®evolution report.

Once installed, the four high efficiency SunPowersolar panels will generate clean energy for two Greenpeace Africa mobile solar showcase units to be displayed at the 17th session of the Conference of Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNGCCC), being held in Durban, South Africa from November 28 through December 9, 2011. Each unit will utilize solar-powered multi-media technology devices, including televisions, laptops and sound systems, to communicate the growing need for renewable energy solutions while staffers share their knowledge and experience with solar PV.

"With this donation, the SunPower Foundation remains true to its mission — to empower the world's next generation of solar leaders," said Doug Richards, SunPower Foundation chairman.  "We hope that the Greenpeace Solar Training course will inspire local youth to explore solar technology and create renewable solutions for energy needs in this part of the world and beyond."

Furthering the relationship, the SunPower Foundation has also agreed to solarize the Greenpeace Africa Johannesburg headquarters with a high efficiency SunPower rooftop system later this year.

"Greenpeace Africa is thrilled that the SunPower Foundation has offered to solarize our headquarters and mobile solar showcase units for the upcoming UN climate talks in Durban, both benefitting the people of South Africa," said Olivia Langhoff, campaigns director for Greenpeace Africa. "This donation provides an impetus for investment and is a demonstration that renewable energy solutions are feasible."

In 2008, the SunPower Foundation awarded a $40,000 grant to the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), providing capital for the solarization of off-grid clinics in Lesotho's remote mountain villages operated by non-profit health care organization, Partners in Health (PIH). Since installation, the 1.4 kW solar PV systems have increased electricity reliability, enabled electronic patient record keeping and allowed for use of an X-ray machine by staff, resulting in quicker, more accurate diagnoses and saving lives as a result.

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