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Plan International partnership delivers lighting to rural Laos


Sunlabob and Plan to bring more than 200 solar home systems to four remote villages

Sunlabob recently finalized a partnership with the international non-profit organization Plan International to implement 216 solar home systems (SHS) in four villages of Bokeo Province, a remote, poor area of northwest Laos. The SHSs will be used in Vang Lek, Phouviengxai, Kha Nong and La Ang Tai – all villages with low income levels, poor hygiene and health standards and limited education opportunities.

Sunlabob is supplying, designing and installing the 20Wp solar systems as well as providing hands-on technical training to enable the villagers to maintain and manage the systems.

Aligned with Plan International’s objective of improving the lives, health and education of children, the solar home systems will help reduce the usage of kerosene lanterns and provide a cleaner, safer, and better source of lighting for the villagers.

“This partnership is an excellent example of how renewable energy isn’t just about providing electricity,” said Andy Schroeter, co-founder and CEO, Sunlabob. “Off-grid energy solutions like solar home systems also complement broader development objectives such as education, health and income-generation.”

Decreasing the use of kerosene-based lighting will eliminate the inhalation of harmful fumes and reduce the potential of accidental fires. The solar-based lighting will also enable adults to carry out productive, income generating activities later in the day and allow children to study schoolwork after dark.

This contract is Sunlabob’s second time working with Plan International in Laos. In 2011, the two organizations worked in cooperation to introduce a Solar Lantern Rental System (SLRS) at a secondary school of 180 students in Bokeo Province. The lanterns displaced a diesel generator used for nighttime study and also provided improved lighting in the student dormitories.