SunEdison a leading worldwide solar energy services and technology partner and the SunEdison Rural Energy Fund (SREF), a non-profit that provides solar energy to rural and impoverished hospitals and schools, today announced that the IRS recognized SREF as a 501(c)(3) public charity. SREF was established through a grant from the SunEdison Foundation.
“SunEdison Rural Energy Fund is focused on providing reliable and affordable energy to the 1.4 billion people that have no access to electricity, and 1 billion more that only have intermittent access,” Jason Gray, co-founder of the Fund, said. “This work includes providing solar energy for hospitals and other institutions, and developing technologies that enable solar energy in rural and remote areas.”
Providing access to affordable renewable electricity enables rural hospitals to sterilize instruments, store vaccines and perform surgeries. For schools and other institutions, lighting and communications are simplified. Currently, these organizations depend on expensive liquid fuels such as diesel to power their operations. Installing solar is out of reach because they cannot afford the upfront costs and do not have access to professional installation and monitoring services necessary to ensure reliable electricity service. To address these issues, SREF launched SunFarmer.
“Supporting SREF is core to our purpose; Transforming Lives Through Innovation,” Ahmad Chatila, president and CEO of SunEdison, said. “We are combining our efforts to help provide electricity to rural populations with not for profit organizations.
Our SunEdison Eradication of Darkness Program (SEEDs) is powering villages in India and helping farmers irrigate their crops with solar water pumps. Supporting SREF allows us to extend our reach to other geographies where there are people in need. The leadership at SREF shares our passion and we look forward to continuing to work together.”
SunFarmer provides long term financing and technical assistance to health clinics and schools that can benefit from solar, but can’t afford the upfront cost. By eliminating the burden of installation costs and providing access to expert local installation services, SunFarmer makes solar energy a reality for organizations that are transforming the lives of the patrons they serve. Even though customers pay a monthly fee for their solar system; they typically see an immediate reduction in energy costs of approximately 15 percent and upwards of 50 percent over the life of the system. Depending on the arrangement, organizations will own their solar power system in 5 – 10 years. The money they are no longer spending on energy can be redirected to serving their communities.
SunFarmer monitors the system throughout their relationship with the organization to ensure performance. In the event a solar system needs repair; SunFarmer will repair it.
Through the end of the year, SREF is running a holiday matching campaign for donations to SunFarmer. Donations go directly to installing solar solutions for hospitals, schools and other high impact organizations.