Solar is getting mainstream

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In the last few weeks we have seen a renovated interest in solar. It is actually a good news for developing countries that have yet to provide services to a large part of their populations. Here some links to interesting news that have caught our eye.

Ashden Awards 2014 recognize the effort of very innovative companies in developing countries

White House Finally Goes Solar; Obama Preaches Efficiency and Jobs at Wal-Mart
Why the Electrify Africa Act is vital to powering Africa

Modi in India to bring electricity to rural populations using solar.

Finalists in the 2013 Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project

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SharedSolar has been selected as a finalist in the 2013 Vodafone challenge. It’s an honor, and we’re in the company of some amazing innovations and innovators, past and present. It was great to meet fellow finalists, organizers and judges at the Vodafone xone in San Francisco, centered around the theme of “Mobile for Good – enabling mobile technology to deliver social change.”

It’s worth noting how the Mobile/IT revolution has been instrumental for us in providing a grid-like electric service with intermittent renewables. Our on-site servers run on processors designed for mobile phones – low cost, low power, less heat. The IT hardware costs are negligible with the addition of these platforms, but the flexibility we can bring with our hosted software is huge. We provide customer service by leveraging the existing mobile network infrastructure, with mobile handsets as the interface between customers and the operators. Wireless LAN’s support our mobile app that local agents use for payment collection, management and local overrides. Our enterprise management system also uses the mobile network infrastructure for communicating with the sites.

Without these mobile computing and communications platforms, it would not have been possible for us to deploy and operate sustainable electric services in the regions and communities that we are in. And we’re extremely happy and excited to have been given this chance to participate and showcase our solutions.



More on the announcement and the challenge here –

Planning and O&M for ESCOs

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The SharedSolar platform is different to other electrification technology. We actually take a bottom-up approach and build over our experience in Sub-saharan Africa and research at Modi Labs for infrastructure planning and ‘big data’ visualisation. Below you can see a snap-shot of the software showing rich contextual information for our Sites in Senegal and Mali.


In the photo above shows the results of our scoping survey to analyse wheter or not a micro-grid makes sense depending of costing factors. Here we have mapped the villages connected to the grid. (Oui!, the results can  be easily shown in multiple languages also).

In the photo below, you can see the quality of monitoring and O&M a field staff can do. Here we are filtering the information collected for the number of exterior lights installed on each household. This reporting tool help us to track the physical changes in the sites over time and to verify that againts demand and consumption reports from chargers, inverters and individual meters.  It help us also to check that our staff is passing to provide service (in this case, Bakary, the manager of our sites in Mali, visited the household at 15hr on 18-09-2012).


In fact this tool has been so powerful that Bakary is supporting the needs of over 170 clients in only 2 days per week. Since april 2012 all the high level supervision has been remotely in our sites in Mali as the country suffered a Coup d’Etat and much of the support staff was evacauted to Senegal. Hower, we receive automated reports and  near real time  data from every meter connected (we can modulate the frequency of reporting as to save connectivity costs). So we make sure everyone connected to SharedSolar has the best service available.



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