We've had the opportunity, over the last few months, to pitch SunFarmer to anybody and everybody we know. Today we'd like to give you the quick overview of SunFarmer, our vision, and provide an update on some recent milestones.
What is SunFarmer?
SunFarmer is a 501c3 nonprofit social enterprise that provides solar energy for health clinics, schools and other institutions that lack reliable electricity. Up to 50% of hospitals and schools in developing countries lack access to reliable energy, meaning vaccines can't be refrigerated, babies are delivered by flashlight, and school days are cut short. Customers in these areas typically use unreliable energy solutions such as diesel, which also cost 10 times what a typical US consumer pays for electricity.
Why customers can't access solar energy
We visited dozens of hospitals and schools in Nepal with strong demand for solar energy - in fact, one 25-bed hospital we visited in September pays nearly $30,000 each year on diesel fuel and maintenance! Customers really want a better solution than diesel, but 1) can't afford upfront costs, and 2) improperly installed and maintained solar systems often can stop working after just a few months or years.
SunFarmer installs high quality solar energy systems, and collects payments from customers in affordable installments. Since we collect payments over time, SunFarmer is accountable - to make sure systems perform over the long term. Below is a summary of how our model works:
Why we need donations
Your donation goes directly towards the installation of solar energy projects at hospitals, schools, and other institutions. Thanks to operational funding from SunEdison Rural Energy Fund, your donation goes directly to projects rather than to overhead costs.
We "recycle" any profits from electricity payments to pay for the upfront costs of new solar energy installations, meaning your donation has impact year after year - multiplying your impact!
- Received a generous grant from SunEdison Rural Energy Fund, to support our operational expenses over the next several years
- Signed agreement with Nepali government to collaborate on solar energy projects
- Signed agreement to build solar energy at 5 health facilities in rural Nepal in Q1 2014
- Received 501(c)3 status, meaning we are kicking off our donation drive! Stay tuned!