In association with the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU), SELF launched a solar PV project in February 1994.
In the project’s first phase, solar home systems were installed in the rural communities of the Tien Giang and Tra Vinh in the Mekong Delta, as well as the Hoa Binh Province near Hanoi. The second phase, implemented in 1997, SELF and the VWU installed additional SHS in Tra Vinh communities of Long Hoa and Hoa Miinh. Solarlab, a PV technology group based in Ho Chi Minh City, was contracted by SELF to provide technical assistance directly to VWU and to oversee the after-sales maintenance of the program. Additionally, SELF’s Technical Manager, Marlene Brown, along with Solarlab, trained 25 solar technicians on behalf of the VWU.
The program directly benefited 240 families and over 1,500 people through the installation of Solar Home System and indirectly benefited others within the community through the solar systems implemented in village community centers and village markets. In April 1997, SELF and the VWU sponsored a national seminar on solar electrification in Hanoi, attended by government policy makers and planners, practitioners and PV users, and representatives of the World Bank, UNDP and other donors.
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Since 1990, SELF has completed projects in more than 25 countries and pioneered unique applications of solar power such as for drip irrigation in Benin, health care in Haiti, telemedicine in the Amazon rain forest, online learning in South Africa and microenterprise development in Nigeria.
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