Friday, June 19, 2009

Schneider Electric provides a Madagascan village access to renewable energies through its BipBop program

On May 27, Schneider Electric presented an off-grid solar photovoltaic facility to local officials in Marovato, on Madagascar’s east coast, as part of its in-house BipBop energy access program for people at the bottom of the pyramid.

Schneider Electric deployed its full range of skills and competencies to offer Marovato’s 120 residents access to energy that is safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green. To carry out this project, the Group forged an innovative partnership with businesses, associations and residents within the Jirano association, whose mission is to set up a sustainable electricity supply system for isolated villages in Madagascar.

Schneider Electric and its partners developed a dedicated solution tailored to the nature and size of this project. The solution’s components ensure that the system operates smoothly, at top efficiency, and protect the solar installation. The Group provided a Xantrex by Schneider Electric photovoltaic inverter and charger, circuit breakers, and remote supervision and monitoring of the electrical enclosure via the GSM network. The facility generates peak power of 1,400 watts. In comparison, the village currently uses 490 watts. Schneider Electric and the Jirano association also developed a program to teach residents how to maintain the facility. In all, 12 jobs in electricity-related fields were created. In 2009, projects supported by Schneider Electric in Madagascar are expected to electrify 1,000 households, train 100 people and create 50 additional jobs.

Claude Graff, Executive Vice President, Renewable Energies, Schneider Electric said: “The electrification of Marovato demonstrates Schneider Electric’s ability to deploy a sustainable system that provides access to renewable energies and meets the region’s accessibility constraints.”

In a country with a limited power grid where only 20% of the population has access to electricity, off-grid clean energy solutions are a simple and efficient way to meet the development needs of disadvantaged communities. By helping these communities tap into renewable energies, Schneider Electric is reaffirming its socially responsible commitment to helping improve quality of life for people at the bottom of the pyramid and facilitating access to healthcare and education.

Gilles Vermot Desroches, Senior Vice President, Sustainable Development, Schneider Electric explained: “The key success factor in this project lies in a new type of cooperation in which businesses and village associations work together towards a common goal. We intend to pursue this initiative in the new economies that are the target of our BipBop energy access program.”

The Marovato electrification project is the first initiative to come out of Schneider Electric’s BipBop program, which stands for “Business Investment People at the Bottom of the Pyramid”. The program covers three strategically-related areas:
- Business - Build and deliver electrical distribution solutions for people at the bottom of the pyramid.
- Investment - Create an investment fund to develop electrical businesses.
- People - Help provide electrical training for young people looking to enter the workforce.

Helping customers consume less, produce more effectively, improve energy efficiency, protect the environment and contribute to the development of renewable energy sources is an integral part of Schneider Electric’s business and strategy. The BipBop initiative to electrify Marovato illustrates Schneider Electric’s desire to create a virtuous circle combining business, innovation and social responsibility.

Find the press kit on the electrification of the village of Marovato in the Press Area of Schneider Electric website.

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