Solarcentury donates £130,000 worth of solar panels and cash to SolarAid

Published by: Solarcentury
Date: 23/08/2011

The £95,000 worth of solar panels donated by the company will bring electricity to 50 schools in Zambia; as part of the charitys’ schools programme. SolarAid has equipped 178 schools across East Africa with solar, seeing marked improvements in exam performance and the reduction of fuel bills in those schools with the technology.

Steve Andrews, CEO, SolarAid said: “When SolarAid puts solar panels on a school in Africa, something magic happens: exam results start to improve quickly. Solarcentury’s gift of solar panels is enabling our team to bring electricity to 50 schools in Zambia; improving the prospects and hopes of thousands of children. We are incredibly grateful for their vision and generosity.

A further £35,000 has also been donated by Solarcentury to ‘Sunny Schools’, SolarAid’s UK education programme, working with UK primary school teachers to help educate about renewable energy, climate change and development. The ‘Sunny Schools’ programme is part of Solarcentury’s ‘Solar4Schools’, helping to equip UK schools with solar power. Solar4Schools has worked with over 250 schools to reduce their carbon footprint and electricity bills with solar in the UK, also helping schools go solar in Italy.

Derry Newman, CEO, Solarcentury said: “SolarAid has gone from strength to strength, their work proving that solar power really can empower society.  Here at Solarcentury we’re working to ensure solar power becomes a key part of our energy mix, and it is clearly making a real difference tolives is in the developing world. We support the work of SolarAid wherever we can, whether it be fundraising, with staff time or management support.”

SolarAid’s work has two main strands. One, to increase access to solar for schools in the developed world; the other to replace dangerous and expensive kerosene lamps with simple and affordable solar powered lights. By training local business entrepreneurs, the ‘Sunny Money’ social enterprise programme has now sold 24,272 solar lights and trained over 800 business people, bringing clean power, more disposable income and an employment to many. Adding gravitas to its power, in 2010 ‘The Solar Lamp’, as distributed by SolarAid, was chosen by The British Museum and the BBC as the object that defined the challenges of the modern day world, as part of the series ‘The history of the world in100 objects”.

Many of Solarcentury’s 120 employees have volunteered and raised money for SolarAid since 2006, with 5% of its profits going to the charity. In 2009, Solarcentury and SolarAid won the National Fundraising Award for best Business and Charity partnership and the Corporate Social Responsibility Project of the Year Award at the Charity Times Awards.

For more information on SolarAid and to find out how to join their latest ‘Hot 100’ fundraising challenge visit


For further information please contact
Charlotte Webster 0207 8030148

About SolarAid
Two of the biggest threats facing humanity today are climate change and global poverty.
SolarAid helps to combat both by bringing clean, renewable power to the poorest people in the world.
Established in 2006, SolarAid works in rural areas across Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya and Zambia;
working with remote and disadvantaged communities, helping them tap into an abundant source
of free, clean and renewable energy – the sun! As well as installing solar on schools, community
centres and clinics, SolarAid also works with entrepreneurs and existing sales networks in facilitating
the distribution of small solar lighting products, which replace harmful and polluting kerosene.

About Solarcentury
Solarcentury is one of Europe’s fastest growing and most innovative
solar photovoltaics (PV) companies. It is the UK’s most experienced PV
company. The private company was founded by Chairman Jeremy Leggett in
1998. Solarcentury, now over 120 staff, continues to grow rapidly to
meet increasing demand for products and services in the UK and
throughout the EU. The company is led by CEO Derry Newman, ex Managing
Director Sony UK, and based in London, with staff in the UK, France and

Since 1998, Solarcentury has managed the installation of well over 1000
solar PV turnkey projects. Solarcentury has helped over 9,000 homes go
solar through its supply of systems to housebuilders and through its
network of regional associate installers. It is the founding company of
the schools initiative Solar4Schools. In 2008 & 2010, Solarcentury was
named the UK’s Fastest Growing Renewable Energy Company by UK’s Sunday
Times Tech Track 100. In April 2011 it was awarded a Queens Award for
Enterprise in innovation.


Solar Aid

In 2006 we established the international development charity SolarAid whose goal is to eradicate kerosene lamps from Africa.


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