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Mandrade Community Solar Energy Hub

In February 2017, the E4D team were in Malawi to support the Scottish Government funded SOGERV project.  With support from project partners United Purpose and WASHTED, two villages (Mandrade and Kandeu) in Chikwawa District are operational.  Solar energy is now serving local schools and health posts, and community solar hubs are providing sales and rentals of household and small business products.

The business model for supporting these energy services is a Franchiser/Franchisee entrepreneurship model where the SOGERV Franchiser, Andrew Nkoloma from Global Solar, supports a local franchisee in each village (Francis Story and Wisdom Bernard).

Each Franchisee operates the community solar hub, supplying solar solutions including:

  • pico-products;
  • battery charging;
  • and small-business scale systems.

The franchiser is also tasked with providing a maintenance contract for the school and health post solar energy systems, promoting holistic project sustainability.

Over the coming year, the University of Strathclyde, United Purpose and WASHTED will continue to support ongoing: business model development, community training, district government engagement, and monitoring and evaluation of the systems.

Through this collaboration, the team aim to demonstrate a sustainable deployment model of off-grid, solar electricity supply for public and private energy services. Watch this space!