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Guatemala is home to roughly 15 million people. Following a lengthy civil war, many villages and remote communities were formed by those seeking affordable land and safety. As a result, only 80% of the country has access to grid-connected electricity. Many rural communities and remote villages, where the majority of the country’s population resides, rely on costly and polluting generator power.

Maya Jaquar School is located deep within the rainforests of the Cuchumatan Mountains, one of the poorest and least-served regions, where employment and education opportunities are extremely limited.

A 6.6kW off-grid solar PV system, designed by Twende Solar, has proven to change these conditions and the outlook for students. Accompanied by a group of passionate volunteers from Elemental Energy, their dedicated team travelled by plane and 4×4 vehicles into the remote mountainous region to equip the school with a reliable and sustainable renewable energy system.

The off-grid system combines donated and sponsored equipment including solar modules from itek Energy, Outback Power inverter/charge controllers and a bank of 24 Rolls maintenance-free 6 volt S6-370AGM batteries [1005 AH (C/20)] in a 48V configuration, appropriately sized to provide adequate energy storage to support and expand their academic programming.

The school’s campus includes middle & high classrooms, a nutrition centre, organic gardens and staff & student housing. The new learning centre offers a unique fully-equipped computer lab where students may gain a specialty two-year Computer Sciences diploma. Coupled with expanded courses beyond the country’s mandated curriculum, these classes and skillsets best prepare students for gainful employment upon graduation.

These efforts have facilitated Maya Jaguar School will adequate clean, reliable electricity for years to come.