Onsite at COP21, the most important climate change event in the world’s history, SkyPower, the world’s largest developer and owner of utility-scale solar energy projects, and an Official Partner of COP21, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, is proud to jointly announce with Plan International a program in accordance with its agreement with the Kenyan Government for the distribution of two million high-quality SkyPower Home solar systems to households, schools and health clinics in need of electricity in Kenya.
This initiative is the largest known program of its kind in the world and was announced by SkyPower and the Kenyan Government in July 2015 at the 6th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi. This initiative forms part of the landmark agreement between the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and SkyPower to develop, build, own and operate 2 GW of world-class, utility-scale solar projects across Kenya, which will be built over the next five years.
SkyPower conducted an extensive and exhaustive process working closely with the Government of Kenya and has selected Plan International, which works in partnership with 51 countries and 21 donor countries, to design a rigid, comprehensive, targeted logistics, distribution, management, product support and swap-out warranty program with the strictest of controls and accountability to ensure these solar power systems reach the families and healthcare providers, the intended recipients.
“SkyPower is proud to be setting the example that will support President Kenyatta’s vision for a growing, sustainable, and prosperous Kenya based on the cleanest and most reliable form of renewable energy,” said Kerry Adler, President and CEO of SkyPower. “As John Kerry, US Secretary of State, stated at COP21, it is possible to do well and do good.” This sentiment represents a fundamental part of SkyPower’s business strategy, and we truly hope it will resonate with other business leaders and institutions around the globe.
“Our partnership and alignment is with Plan International, who will manage and oversee a proven method of distribution, backed by over 75 years of experience, and in total alignment with SkyPower and the Kenyan Government’s goal of energizing homes around Kenya by providing them with access to safe, affordable and reliable solar electricity,” said Charles Cohen, Chief Commercial Officer, Commercial Strategy and Development, of SkyPower.
“Kenya is so very proud to work with SkyPower and its partners to ensure the timely and effectively targeted distribution of the 2 million SkyPower Home solar kits, a world’s first. It is a comprehensive plan that is reflective of the commitment of our government to address energy deficiency and climate change, in our unwavering efforts to ensure the brightest and most prosperous future for all Kenyans,” said H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya.
Each SkyPower Home solar system will have a solar panel, LED bulbs, USB charging capabilities for charging cell phones and other handheld electronic devices and a solar-powered radio, and is designed to operate in extreme conditions. Each solar system is backed by a comprehensive warranty, which will include an in-community hot-swap program. These home solar systems are built to the most stringent of standards and will meet and/or exceed all requisite certifications and published standards to ensure the highest quality, reliability and longevity.
SkyPower Home solar kits will narrow the energy deficiency gap in carefully targeted communities, making impactful change to the areas of: education, maternal health, safety and job creation in each community.
To ensure the project is sustainable and fully integrated into each community, these solar systems will be distributed through selected local primary schools. Moreover, a percentage of the solar systems will also be provided to local primary health care centres that could truly benefit from access to electricity, and to community health workers who bring vital health services directly into homes and schools currently lacking access to electricity.
SkyPower Home solar systems, in conjunction with Plan International’s community focused, transparent and accountable distribution plan will:
- improve the quality of life for over eight million people in rural Kenya through access to clean renewable energy and contribute to meeting the Government of Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan and Vision 2030
- reduce or eliminate the need for lamps fuelled by dangerous kerosene fuel oil
- extend market hours for small-scale entrepreneurs and create new opportunities for budding entrepreneurs, thereby expanding business opportunities
- increase the number of hours of light available to students for homework and teachers for class preparation
- provide more lighting at night for villages, improving safety for women and girls
“Plan International is proud to announce this landmark partnership with SkyPower, in Kenya,” said Marie Staunton, Plan International Canada’s interim President and Chief Executive Officer. “Plan has worked in Kenya for over 33 years, and this project will offer a truly transformative contribution towards ensuring the safe delivery of infants, that boys and girls succeed in school, women and girls are more protected and climate change is addressed. Triple positive impacts will be felt in education, health and protection for poor households, in line with Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4 and 7.”
Under the auspices and expertise of Plan International, the solar system distribution will be done carefully and with consideration of local needs. A strategic approach – coupled with careful targeting – will be taken to ensure that households that would otherwise be unable to afford solar energy and communities in the greatest need will benefit. To guarantee that the initiative will have a long-lasting and transformative impact on targeted communities, Plan and SkyPower will engage and organize young men and women from their communities into volunteer management and monitoring teams. These local community members will serve a number of functions: ensuring distribution is to those most in need, delivering training to community members on the benefits of solar energy, building familiarity with the technology and providing solar kit demonstrations, delivering basic trouble-shooting and maintenance information to community members, manage the hot-swap program and provide data-collection and project-monitoring related services on a regular basis.
Plan International has extensive experience in the large-scale distribution of gifts-in-kind across Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 1982, Plan has played an active role in Kenya, helping poor children to access their rights to health, education, sanitation and protection. Today more than 800,000 Kenyan families benefit from Plan’s work.
SkyPower has agreed to build utility-scale solar power projects in Kenya, bringing power to the people of Kenya as a part of its ongoing UN business commitment to develop and build a minimum of 5 GW of utility-scale solar power projects in Africa by 2020. As Strategic Champion of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Caring for Climate initiative and a signatory of the UN Global Compact, SkyPower supports and is focussed on the recently announced UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with an approach that is integrated into the core of its business principles. SkyPower has successfully implemented a unified global solar energy development strategy that directly or indirectly supports 13 of the 17 UN SDGs. SkyPower’s efforts continue to set an example by demonstrating that corporations can do good and do well, helping the world become a better place for all humankind for generations to come.