Philips, Orb Energy lighten Barefoot College in Rajasthan

Philips Lighting has today announced that it has powered the Tilonia campus of Barefoot College in Rajasthan with a 116 kW solar system.

The solar array is an off-grid system supported with the li-ion battery storage, thereby enabling the college to have access to uninterrupted power throughout the day.

Barefoot and Philips selected the Bengaluru-based solar firm, Orb Energy to set up the system. The off-grid system will power the Solar Office Block, Solar Workshops, Solar Mama Residences and the Community Kitchen.

Over a span of 50 years, Barefoot College has trained women – representing nearly 100 countries – to become solar engineers and electrify their villages in their home country.

Citing Barefoot’s expansion in the global south, Meagan Fallone, CEO of Barefoot College International said: “Working to empower women rising from ultra-poverty, our ability to train here at the college is critical.”

Damian Miller, CEO, Orb Energy told pv magazine: “Today, most rooftop solar projects in India are sold without batteries, for captive power and maybe to feed into the grid. However, this does not provide essential backup power.”

Solar system with battery storages based on li-ion or lead-acid technology can make a reliable off-grid system. “When you provide batteries, then you also provide backup power, and you can help commercial entities knock out the need for their diesel genset entirely,” Miller added.

Shalini Sarin, Chairman of the Board at Philips Lighting Foundation mentioned that the company’s ambition is to provide communities access to reliable and clean energy, in a world where 1.06 billion people have no access to power.