In late 2003, SES was approached by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, a Catholic missionary order, to develop a project that would provide photovoltaic-generated electrical power to rural mission stations, schools and hospitals in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). SES accepted the challenge and has been working with the Order in the development of this multi-year project.
Substantial segments of the populations of the developing world live without basic amenities such as electricity, potable water, or access to competent medical care. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, a community of Catholic women religious, whose slogan is “Hearts as wide as the world,” live amongst these poor and seek to elevate them through their ministry. Founded over 200 years ago in Belgium, the Order has grown to become a global organization operating in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin and North America.
The communities where the sisters live are often without electricity and SES was tasked with developing viable energy, communications, and water purification systems that would enable the Order to serve the needs of their diverse populations, but be productive in meeting the challenges of a twenty first century organization.
Planning for the project, dubbed “The Power Of The Sun” began in the autumn of 2003, and as of the current period, a prototype system has been built in the United States along with the first installation in Fugar, Edo State, Nigeria at the Fugar House of Formation where women aspiring to become sisters begin their training. A system is also under construction in the community of Ngidinga in the province of Bas-Congo in the DRC with the next Nigerian system to be located in the community of Enugu in planning.
Eventually over twenty sites will be built. For more details on the technical aspects of this project,