Electricity for Cuban mountain villages

Phaesun installs independent solar systems in the framework of the Karen e.V. aid project

685667The solar enterprise Phaesun which is situated in Memmingen has safeguarded the solar technological power supply of two Cuban mountain villages together with the non-profit making association Karen e.V. The installation of more than 50 individual systems could be completed in July 2014.

In 2008, the west of Cuba was haunted by a terrible hurricane which caused considerable damages among others in the villages of El Toro and El Brujito located in the mountains of the district of Artemisa in the west of Cuba. 80% of the residential buildings, two elementary schools and medical centres were destroyed. The inhabitants who stayed there have rebuilt a majority of the buildings, however these localities are cut off from the power grid and the government has no ambitions to build up a power supply system. Members of Karen e.V. visited the two villages in October 2012 to acquaint themselves with the concrete conditions. Together with Phaesun, they worked out an electrification plan including all buildings.

In a first phase in February 2014, the medical centres, elementary schools and some residential buildings in El Toro were equipped with solar systems which now provide illumination and cooling. Jürgen Grosser, a Phaesun technician, supervised the installations and trained the local technicians, so they were able to carry out further installations for two laundry camps, a store and a village club independently.

Gerda Daenecke, the Karen e.V. project coordinator reports: "This was a genuine team effort made by four local engineers, three members of Karen, the delivery firm Phaesun, our translator Irsula and mainly the majority of the village inhabitants. This encouraged us to carry out the second phase of the electrification of El Brujito still this year."

So the first solar systems were installed in June in the mountain village of El Brujito. Despite the aggravated conditions due to the early start of the rainy season, the first 13 of 39 planned systems could be completed already by the end of June, supervised by Phaesun technician Jürgen Grosser. The independent solar systems supply the village hall (recreation and TV room, village store) and private households. The remaining systems were now completed with the self responsibility of the local team. Jürgen Grosser was satisfied. "There are always unforeseeable events such as early rainfalls or problems with the import! Due to the entire team's experience and flexibility, however, we could get over these problems. Now, the village inhabitants are happy with the power supply which makes daily life easier!"

About Karen e.V.

Karen e.V. is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) situated in Berlin. It is a non-profit making association which was founded in May 1992 with the goal to contribute to the energy turnaround in the Caribbean countries, mainly Cuba, but also in Nicaragua and meanwhile in South America, e.g. Venezuela and Bolivia thus replacing fossil energy sources without following the dangerous wrong track of nuclear energy.