IEEE Smart Village provides a community charging station at Kristy’s Cape Academy, a private primary school, pre-kindergarten through Grade 4, that has no connection to the electric grid. The station will provide much needed electricity to the school and serve as a source of sustainable income. Electrification will have a transformative effect not only on Kristy’s Cape Academy but also on the surrounding community of Muhuru Bay.
A student volunteer with KiloWatts For Humanity, a nonprofit program, with local energy entrepreneurs installing a wind turbine. Date: 2014. Location: Kenya. Photo: Steve Szablya.The charging station will be powered by clean, renewable energy by relying on a walk-up battery exchange/recharge model. People from the local community bring their batteries from home for recharge or replacement. Walk-up models avoid the cost and effort of installing and maintaining an electricity distribution network.
The benefits of IEEE Smart Village’s work in Kenya include:
- Energy Poverty Alleviation–Supplying electrical energy, even modest amounts, has been shown to greatly improve the well-being in a community. The community charging station will provide much-needed electricity for the school and the community in a sustainable, environmental-friendly manner.
- Sustainability and Empowerment–Years of experience have shown that successful, lasting and appropriate development projects include community involvement and education. Providing lighting to the school and local community will increase educational opportunity, thereby empowering the people.
- Advancing Knowledge and Technology–The community charging station will be equipped with data monitoring equipment that will monitor and collect data in near-real time. This data will enable technology research and outreach, including students in the United States and abroad.
- Broad Dissemination–The success and lessons learned from this project will be widely disseminated. This enhances the body of knowledge on energy poverty alleviation and increases the awareness and profile of this project and its supporters.