We are pleased to announce that our proposal, “Growing the Grid Around the Load: Open-Source Sunblazer Micro-Utilities Already Investible”, created jointly by the IEEE and the Emerge Alliance, has been chosen as a finalist for Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s “Finance for Resilience”  (FiRe) platform, 2015! You can view the announcement here:

http://www.financeforresilience.com/news/17-03-2015/fire-judges-select-eight-new-finalists-2015/


     The team behind the proposal is comprised of Ray Larsen, Paul Savage, Robin Podmore, Michael Wilson, Wayne Gutschow, Dan Wessner, Patrick Lee, and Lela Jgerenaia.  Together they are proposing a large scale deployment of our “SunBlazer Trailer” technology as a method of creating connectable, scalable, DC microgrids that leverage new standards to advance deeper penetration of electrical goods, electronically controlled devices, and communications access for Less Developed Country (LDC) community-based solutions to poverty and human capacity.

     The World Bank estimates 1.2 Billiion people have zero access to electricity. Moreover, many LDCs have minimal to zero natural resources.  This means that many power plants rely almost entirely on imported fossil fuels. This creates energy access for only the wealthy. It also perpetuates the reliance on nonrenewable resources with added transportation costs. While this problem is global, it is particularly acute in sub-Saharan Africa and India, two key partners of Smart Villages. Our goal with FiRe is to reach 500 million people with basic electricity and access to a development education platform by 2025. This is an integrated goal that increases tenfold IEEE-Smart Villages’ collaborative partnership.

     With open-source mechanical plans, and robust electronic designs, this Intervention leverages two trends: one is the “SunBlazer DC Microgrid” operating in Haiti and across four countries in Africa, and the other is new global DC power standards that promote parts commonality and interoperability across all systems, stationary and mobile, isolated or grid connected. This intervention will further develop it’s proven innovation that brings with it distributed economic development in the form of light industrial manufacturing and services, as well as the retail leasing of Portable Battery Kits (PBKs)

     Deployable in months and modular in nature, each solar–fed charging station serves 80 PBKs that bring up to three days of light and cell phone charging to the customer. Inspiring results from this designand deployment have been delivered by experts from IEEE’s 400,00 members in 140 countries, recently attracting support as a Signature Program of the IEEE Foundation.  The Smart Village program sustains the solar-fed-power with a local franchise model, growing community based entrepeneurs necessary for the business model, and its assets’ security, with a sustainable development educational platform.

     On April 15, the team will travel to New York City, and make a live presentation of our proposal to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance panel.  If selected, we will be able to acquire the growth capital necessary for financing this proven business model as a solution to this pernicious problem. In addition, this award will allow us to build awareness and engagement with the BNEF universe of stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, energy companies, investors, and regulators, regarding the benefits of DC power standards and systems.  In short, it will allow us to make use of our innovative “SunBlazer Trailers” to promote energy resilience!

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