The remote Chitwan National Park Ranger Outpost, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Nepal, is getting outfitted with a rooftop solar array. At the same time 10 local women will be trained as solar industry entrepreneurs.
That’s thanks to a partnership between Empowered by Light and Empowered Generation. Bringing solar to this underdeveloped area will allow its residents to benefit from more ecotourism and clean energy development while minimizing risk to the environment and wildlife.
“Remote communities around the world are embracing renewable energy because the benefits are real, immediate and life-changing,” said Moira Hanes, Empowered by Light’s co-founder and board chair. “In Nepal, renewable energy is providing these communities with steady, reliable access to electricity, in many cases for the first time, all while helping to support their critical efforts to protect endangered wildlife and create economic and job opportunities that weren’t there before.”
The women chosen for solar business training by Empowered Generation will have the opportunity to create companies, manage a sales force and sell solar products that set the foundation for green economic development. The women will also receive assistance in procuring solar providers and creating a marketing plan to sell small rooftop solar systems and portable solar technology to residents that live near the park.
The new solar system at the Chitwan National Park Ranger Outpost will power rangers’ communication system to protect single-horned Asiatic rhinos and Bengal tigers from poachers during the day. It will also power spotlights that help minimize conflicts and interactions between local residents and wildlife along the park’s buffer zone at night.
Empowered by Light previously partnered with Sungevity to install rooftop solar on two towers in the park along the jungle’s canopy that provide tourists with overnight accommodations. That project, announced last November, is helping generate more tourism revenue and protecting endangered wildlife at Chitwan.
Empowered by Light has also assisted rural, underdeveloped communities with renewable energy projects in Zambia, South America’s Amazon region, Kenya and the Navajo Nation in the US. The organization recently partnered with GivePower Foundation to install a 40-kilowatt solar microgrid totaling Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site inhabited by a quarter of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas in the eastern part of Congo.Tweet