National Geographic awarded a $100,000 grant to Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL). The grant will be used to demonstrate a scalable energy model to reduce and stabilize energy costs for healthcare facilities in West Africa through the installation of solar micro-grids, under Project PV for Phebe.
RREAL, based in the US, has been working in collaboration with the Northeast Minnesota Women of the Lutheran Church (ELCA), to help solve the healthcare issues faced in rural hospitals in West Africa. Part of this involves the company developing a program to overcome the healthcare infrastructure challenges faced in the region. One of those challenges is a reliable electricity supply.
Project PV for Phebe will bring a solar energy micro-grid to a large, rural hospital in Liberia while building local installation capacity through hands-on installation training. Phebe Hospital spends almost half a million dollars each year on diesel fuel to power its operations which is costly. Sustained economic growth is correlated to access to electricity, and this project will illustrate a sustainable means of development with solar energy.