Sun Spot brings high quality solar street lamps to East-Africa
Sun Spot has successfully installed 100 units of 180W solar street lamps in Entebbe, Uganda. Thanks to the EEP, Sun Spot has been able to scale up by setting up the first local facility for assembly of solar energy systems in Uganda. The local sales platform assembles, sells and services the solar systems against a reasonable local market price. The 100 units sold is just the beginning and new street lamps have already been ordered by road constructors and municipalities. Sun Spots has also sold 10W and 50W systems to private households.
The Project Manager Viljami Kettunen tells the EEP that “Uganda, situated in the equator, is at the perfect location to enjoy the sun as a power source, but that the price has been the main obstacle to the widespread implementation of the technology”. He however believes that this is about to change “as the production of solar panels has increase thus bringing the global price down so that Africa now can afford good European quality solar products”.
Located in Kampala, Sun Spot, the Ugandan partner of the international consortium managed by the Finish Lead Partner, Nordic Cast Sourcing, builds on a business model the wants to expand across East-Africa. Consisting of a warehouse and assembly plant Sun Spot creates ready-made all-included solar systems that can power anything from mobile phones and TVs to perimeter fences and street lamps. All products are assembled and installed locally.
The installation project of the street lamps is according to Kettunen a very good example of how a relatively small company can carry out big projects in Uganda. Like every project it however took a long time before the company received payments for its efforts and here Kettunen sees that the EEP played a vital role. The negotiations with Chinese road constructor started over six months before the installation was successfully completed. The production, inspection in the country of origin and shipment took three months and the assembly and installation in Uganda took another two months. So Kettunen points out “that partners will need additional back up, both financial and credibility, to be able to carry out this kind of project till the end”. Sun Spot did this successfully.
At the moment Sun Spot is continuing negotiations with municipalities and road constructors to continue supplying solar street lamps for other areas in Uganda, and Kettunen is convinced that they will succeed as “this kind of proof of a successful project is the best way of marketing”.
Read more about Sun Spot here>>
And for Finnish speakers, read Helsingin Sanomat article of Sun Spot project in Uganda here>>