The students of the Lago Alberto University, UNILAC, are the protagonists of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) project resulting from the collaboration between Prodiel and the Seville Rotary Foundation, which was recently completed in Mahagi (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The renewable energies multinational has constructed a solar power plant of 22 kWP to supply electricity to a university at which over 130 students are already studying, and which has a potential capacity of one thousand students.
In addition to the construction of the infrastructure and the electrical installation, Prodiel will ensure the continuity of the project over time, guaranteeing the functioning of those facilities. University staff are being trained to undertake the Operation and Maintenance work of this small photovoltaic plant. Manuals have been handed over, giving detailed information on the infrastructure, but, in addition, its workers can count on the personalised consultancy of a technician in Spain who monitors the place in real time from the Prodiel Control Centre.
Likewise, there is a certified guarantee from the manufacturers for any manufacturing defects and spare parts, which makes it possible to address small faults. Prodiel will make annual visits with specialised personnel in order to ensure the installation runs smoothly.
“This project is based fundamentally on being able to provide training, education and skills-learning to people who, though they are not within the sphere of the countries in which we usually work, deserve an opportunity to continue progressing and developing as professionals in order to improve the social and economic conditions where they live”, said the general manager of Prodiel, Miguel Somé, after completion of the project.
“The arrival of electricity to this establishment has made it possible to increase the number of hours of classes, and it has opened up the university to the outside world, which it was previously not possible to access from Mahagui”, Somé went on to say.
Origin of the project
This initiative to supply electricity to the UNILAC began at the end of 2017 with the stockpiling of materials. After some months, they had managed to bring together the 69 photovoltaic panels, the 800 metres of solar cabling, the two 4,600W storage batteries, the structure to carry the modules and the perimeter fencing necessary to undertake the generation project, as well as the 170 lights, the 30 switches, the 70 sockets and the general electricity panel necessary for the university’s electrical installation.
Collaborators on this project included Jinko Solar, the Typsa Foundation, SMA, Gonvarri, Lamaignere, Atf, Tranluz, AS Solar, Sesaelec, Innergy, Díaz Cadena and the Real Betis Balompié Foundation.
The university itself was founded thanks to the initiative of the missionary from Granada Francisco Ostos (who has lived in the country since 1973) and the involvement of a number of organisations, led by the Seville Rotary Foundation. These were able to fund the construction of this educational establishment, which is of very great importance for the region as it is the only university of its kind within a radius of hundreds of kilometres.
“This place of reference for education in the DRC was started up without electricity or internet, so our club decided to undertake the electrification, which was possible thanks to our corporate partner Prodiel”, explained the president of the Seville Rotary Club Corporate and member of the board of Prodiel, Pedro Valenzuela.