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The VIDA Blog

From Germany to Ghana - Solar Panels Are On Their Way!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Solar panels are the heart of our Solarize Ghana project. In a few months, the panels will be providing clean, renewable energy to six schools and four medical clinics in rural Ghana.

While VIDA has done a number of small-scale solar projects in West Africa, this is the first time we are shipped pallets of panels to West Africa. We’ve learned a lot about international shipping the past few months thanks to a few incredible, patient people and companies.

We are sending out a huge THANK YOU to SolarWorld Germany for donating all of the solar panels to the Solarize Ghana project and graciously storing the panels for us in Germany while we learned the ropes of international shipping. 


Thanks also to our friend Johannes Liem who spent an evening translating the SolarWorld donation agreement from German to English.

And thanks to James Lovell from DHL who patiently worked with us to make sure the panels would arrive safely in Ghana. And finally, thanks to our partner organization, Disaster Volunteers of Ghana for arranging the pick-up and storage of the panels once they get to Ghana.

In less than two months, the solar panels and all the energy they can harness will be in the hands of those who need them most.   

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Glass and Steel Instead of Brick and Mortar

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
(Carly Lettero / text and photo)

We got to test out the roving Solarize Ghana office on our recent trip to Seattle. The office is inside the SolBus, but it is fully equipped with a wireless hotspot for internet access, outlets powered by the bus's solar-electric system, seats with storage, and a table that can be converted into a bed. David Lettero, VIDA’s Solar Project Coordinator, drove the SolBus while Katie Sonnie, Chairperson of the VIDA Board, and David Levine, Founding Director of VIDA, managed an afternoon work session.  

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How many people can sleep in the SolBus?

Monday, May 27, 2013

(Carly Lettero / text and photo)
After our Solarize Ghana launch party in Seattle, we road tested the bus on a trip through the Columbia Gorge to Spokane. We'll be camping in tents during most of our journey in Ghana, but we designed the bus so we can sleep inside if we need to. It was a comfy night for five people, but it will be close quarters if all ten of us need to sleep inside.  

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