Humanity First Marshall Islands this week launched a program to install solar systems in 70 homes in partnership with Rongelap Atoll Local Government and the New Zealand government.
“This solar project will bring significant improvement in the lives of local people of Marshall Islands,” said Falahud Din Shams, chairman of Humanity First Marshall Islands, at the launch event Monday at Marshall Islands Resort.
Shams underlined the point that all of the grant funding is going for the solar systems installation and training. “Humanity First isn’t taking administrative costs out of the grant,” he said. “This way, we can deliver 70 home solar systems for $100,000.”
The project is in partnership with the New Zealand Embassy in Honolulu. Humanity First has awarded this contract to MRA Solutions, a Canada-based renewable energy firm.
Last September, Humanity First provided 10 homes with free solar systems as a pilot project, and is following that with the latest program — a 700 percent increase in delivery of home solar units. Seventy more homes have been selected — the majority on Majuro, with 10 each on Rongelap Atoll and Ebeye.
New Zealand Ambassador Karena Lyons, who is based in Honolulu, visited a few homes that received the initial solar systems in Batkan last month. Local residents gave her positive feedback about the systems.
Munawar Arain, a smart energy specialist with MRA who is in Majuro for the launch, said a special website for this project was set up by MRA Solutions with project details on the website: www.mragreenbox.com
The off-grid system power boxes are custom-designed for Marshallese households.
Shams emphasized that Humanity First is happy to partner with other local governments to roll out similar energy solutions for more island residents.
Read more about this in the August 11, 2017 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.