150 photovoltaic panels installed in Santa Marta, a low-income community in Rio de Janeiro

Over a year, Insolar was in the low-income community of Santa Marta, in Rio de Janeiro, developing the #makethefuture project sponsored by Shell. The social business, headed by Henrique Drumond, was supported by SITAWI Finance for Good for the development of the pilot project that allowed the expansion of the initiative and, consequently, the multinational’s incentive.

Community areas such as day cares, churches, residents’ associations, samba school quarters, CRAS (Social Assistance Referral Center), the cablecar station, among other places chosen by residents, had solar panels installed, reducing expenses with energy and increasing access to clean energy. In total,  more than 30 points were benefited, including ten emergency solar reflectors placed in strategic locations in the community.

Texto-MakethefutureSITAWI-3When asked about the impact of the project on the community, Henrique talks about the feeling of prosperity experienced during the project and expected over the next few years.

“What comes in mind is the joy of Adriana, president of the Children’s Day Care Center, when receiving the first zero energy bill; The students’ party of the Spanta’s School of Music inaugurating the new slab of the Residents’ Association; The Easter service celebrated by Pastor Valdecir in Corumbá Square, illuminated during a blackout by the emergency reflector installed by the Insolar Ambassadors”, he said.

Energy is the main aggravating factor for climate change, accounting for about 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. However, according to the United Nations, today, renewable energy accounts for only 15% of the global energy mix. The community initiative developed in Santa Marta is a dialogue with 14 of the 17 Objectives for Sustainable Development (ODS) of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. In this sense, it especially enhances the commitment of number seven that is to ensure reliable, sustainable, modern and affordable access to energy for everyone.

_MG_8485The project also included the training of local labor to provide support and continuity to the new potential market in Santa Marta and other regions of the city. Forty students, 35 residents of Santa Marta and 5 professionals from other communities, were trained and qualified in electrical and solar installations and can exercise their profession inside and outside the community.

On May 11, the closing ceremony of the #makethefuture project in Santa Marta took place. The partner organizations were honored and the residents trained by the project received their certificates of completion of the Electrical Installations courses, NR 10 – Regulatory Standard on Safety in Facilities and Services in Electricity, NR 35 – Works at Height, Photovoltaic Installations and Practical Experiences at the Facilities Of Santa Marta.

“When we are asked about the number of students trained by the project in Santa Marta, the answer is 40. But what comes in mind are the life histories and overcoming of each student and each student who participated in the course with us,” Henrique Drumond, founder of Insolar.

The success of the initiative was achieved through the active participation and commitment of the local population who worked together with Insolar and other partner organizations. Jorge Alexandre Firmino, a resident of Santa Marta who conducted the training courses, commented that the way the initiative was conducted ensured its success in the community.

“Including the residents in the construction of the project was fundamental to the community’s adhesion. Insolar did not arrive with a solution, but was willing to listen and encourage the participation of the population from the beginning”, said Firmino.

Texto-MakethefutureSITAWI-2In all, 259 interviews were conducted with residents to decide the locations of solar panels. The clean energy that will be generated by the 150 installed photovoltaic panels is equivalent to 185,000 days of light!

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