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More than 1600 solar panels installed in rural Peru

By Emily Culver

Ministry of Energy began a project that is looking to use solar energy to bring power to poor communities in Cajamarca.

More than 1600 solar panels installed in rural Peru

Photo by El Comercio/Difusión

More than two million Peruvians will benefit from a national government initiative to bring electricity to poor homes using solar panels, the Minister of Energy and Mines, Jorge Merino, reported to El Comercio.

Currently in the first stages of the project, they are looking to bring power to 500,000 homes in areas of extreme poverty that do not have traditional electricity systems set up. After people living in extreme poverty are given electricity for the first time, there will be an opportunity for other families to receive the rest of the panels.

As phase one of this ambitious project, Merino officially inaugurated 1600 of the solar panels in Contumazá, in the Northwest region of Cajamarca.

Today’s unveiling of the panels is just the beginning of this environmentally and socially conscious initiative.

Merino revealed plans to expand the program significantly by 2016, stating that incorporating solar panels and installing them in the most impoverished areas could allow up to 95% of the Peruvian population to have electricity. That means only 5% of the country’s inhabitants will be without power.

The focus is on providing the panels to communities that don’t traditionally have access to services. Merino stated to El Comercio reporters: “This is a program that is directed towards the most poor, those who don’t have access to electric light and who use gas lanterns today and are spending their own resources to pay gas which also is bad for their health.”

The Minister mentioned that the plan is going to invest some 560 million soles until 2016 to complete their goals.

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