OpenSolar donating 1 percent of profits to power vulnerable communities with Empowered By Light

Solar PV design and sales software company OpenSolar is doing something pretty cool: Donating 1 percent of its annual revenue to bring solar PV to vulnerable communities. OpenSolar is partnering with Empowered By Light, a global non-profit dedicated to the advancement of solar powered communities that are most severely impacted by climate change, energy poverty, and habitat loss.

Each year, the two organizations will jointly select specific projects to complete. Empowered by Light’s global footprint ensures that the two organizations will have multiple potential projects to select from.

“We are honored and thrilled that OpenSolar selected us as the recipient of their 1% commitment,” stated Moira Hanes, Co-founder and executive director of Empowered by Light. “They are truly a mission-driven organization whose belief in energy access for all is authentic and inspiring, and their commitment will allow Empowered by Light to grow its impact around the world.”

First projects

The first projects that OpenSolar’s donation will support are in two very poor and remote communities in southern Zambia near the border with Mozambique. Both Undi and Chutika have no access to electricity which profoundly limits people’s quality of life. Community members currently collect and haul water from the river in order to irrigate their crops and use water for drinking, cooking and sanitation. They must walk anywhere from 200 to 600 feet to and from the river several times per day in order to collect enough water to successfully grow vegetables and a variety of other crops. With each trip, villagers risk fatal encounters with elephants, crocodiles and hippos.

OpenSolar’s 1 percent commitment has funded the installation of solar powered water pumps, storage and irrigation systems in both communities, designed to reduce the time community members spend collecting and transporting water, improve safety, boost economic development, and increase health and sanitation.

Empowered By Light won a Solar Builder Project of the Year Award in 2022.

— Solar Builder magazine







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