President Nasheed, Sungevity Install Solar Panel Array on Presidential Residence
10 October 2010
President Mohamed Nasheed climbed on to the roof of his official residence, Muleeaage, on Thursday morning to complete the installation of a solar power system.

The President, sporting a safety harness and hardhat, joined Danny Kennedy, founder of Californian solar power company Sungevity, and an installation team to finish the solar photovoltaic (PV) system.

The President’’s solar installation is in support of 350.org’’s Global Work Party, which is due to begin on Sunday.

“Solar power helps combat climate change, reduces our dependency on imported oil and most importantly cuts our electricity costs,” said President Nasheed.

“The Maldives stands at the front line of climate change and we don’’t have the luxury of time to sit and wait for the rest of the world to act. We are getting to work to start the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy,” added the President.

The Maldives has announced plans to green its energy sector and pledged under the Copenhagen Accord to become carbon neutral by 2020.

President Nasheed’’s installation comes one day after the Obama administration announced plans to install solar panels on the roof of the White House by the spring of 2011.

The Muleeaage solar system provides 11.5 kW of installed peak output. This is expected to save the Maldives more than $300,000 over the life of the system. Sungevity designed the system remotely from its headquarters in Oakland, California and trained local staff to help install it. The President’s staff will manage and maintain the system. Solar module manufacturer LG Electronics (LG) donated the panels. Iron Ridge and KACO provided the racking system and inverters respectively.

Sungevity is also conducting an energy audit of Muleeaage to identify ways to cut energy wastage. Renewable energy installation best practice always includes an energy audit, to identify immediate savings and cost-effective energy conservation measures.

“President Nasheed is making a wise, affordable investment for his country,” said Danny Kennedy of Sungevity.

“We are proud he chose Sungevity to coordinate the design of a system from halfway around the world. Saving energy and going solar are the keys to unlocking economic growth and energy security. This shows that anyone, be they world leaders, like Presidents Nasheed and Obama, or American homeowners, can easily go solar and save money. It’’s that simple.”

Mr. Kennedy started the “Globama” Solar on the White House campaign on Earth Day 2010 (22 April), to encourage President Obama to put solar panels on the White House.

LG provided 50 panels for the installation.

“LG has been very active in tackling climate change issues by making energy efficient solutions and working to eliminate hazardous materials from the production process,” said Hwan-yong Noh, CEO of LG Air Conditioning Company.

“It’’s imperative that government and the private sector work together to build a more sustainable environment for our children,” he added.