Philips Lighting Powers up Barefoot College in Rajasthan

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New Delhi, February 12, 2018: Philips Lighting, the world leader in lighting has powered the Tilonia campus of Barefoot College in Rajasthan with a 116KW solar system, thereby enabling the college to have access to reliable off-grid energy. A grant from Philips Foundation replaced a thirty-year-old, aged-out solar equipment; more than tripling the kilowattage in parts of the historic campus that empowers rural women to earn their livelihoods.

In a world where 1.06 billion people have no reliable access to power, electric light is a distant dream for many. One in seven people across the globe struggle to work, study, or help others after sunset. Philips Lighting is committed to ending this imbalance and has a vision to unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. By applying technology, expertise and resources, we provide access to light, raise awareness of the importance of energy efficiency in protecting our environment and support humanitarian interventions.

Since its humble beginning nearly 50 years ago, the Tilonia campus of Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India has enhanced the lives of the rural poor through a combination of local knowledge and appropriate technologies. Women from all over the world, representing nearly 100 different countries, have come to Barefoot College to train to become solar engineers and electrify their villages upon their return.

The new solar panels installed on the old campus of Barefoot College allow for increased work and training capacity for two of its vital programmes, Enriche and Amritchurna, which are housed there.For this project, Philips Foundation worked with Orb Energy, a leading provider of rooftop solar systems in India, to install a 116-kW system across the Barefoot campus, with full battery backup. It now powers the Solar Office Block, Solar Workshops, Solar Mama Residences and the Community Kitchen.

“At Philips Lighting, our ambition is to enable livelihoods by providing communities access to reliable and clean energy. We are delighted to power up the Tilonia campus of Barefoot College and I strongly believe that we will make a difference to the lives of these wonderful women entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Shalini Sarin, Chair of the Board, Philips Lighting Foundation.

“Light and power are the keys to everything we do as an organisation,” said Meagan Fallone, CEO of Barefoot College International. “As we grow and expand our services throughout the global south, working to empower women rising from ultra-poverty, our ability to train here at the college is critical. This partnership has improved our capacity and started a ripple effect of impact that reaches people around the world with hope for the future. On behalf of women everywhere and the entire Barefoot family, I say thank you.”

“Orb Energy is proud to have been selected by both Barefoot College and Philips Lighting to provide a 116-kilowatt solar system with battery back-up that has successfully taken Barefoot College off-grid,” Damian Miller, CEO of Orb Energy, said. “As battery costs continue to fall, we believe this solar energy system represents the future of solar in India – allowing customers to not only reduce their grid electricity costs with solar, but also to eliminate the need for a diesel generator set.”