Harnessing the sun in Botswana with what3words and Videre

Access to energy is essential for the provision of clean water, sanitation and healthcare, as well as reliable lighting, heating and power. Thanks to Videre Global, those still in the dark are now getting plugged into the solar grid. And thanks to what3words, Videre is able to efficiently deliver, install and maintain their solar solutions across Africa.

The power behind progress

Videre Global believes that from one product, like a simple solar panel, great things can happen. With reliable access to energy, communities are built, jobs are created, education prospers and the economy becomes healthier and wealthier. The problem is that 1.5 billion people, many living in the most remote locations, still lack access to the most basic of energy services.

Videre’s objective is simple but specific. They want to provide off-grid solar power to communities of all sizes, using their unique Vero-Power Grid technology combined with new solar and innovative clean energy solutions.

Plugged into the 3 word grid

Often operating well off the beaten track, Videre is faced with a significant logistical challenge. Many of the communities awaiting connection can be hundreds of miles from a tarmac road and with little to no addressing. It means finding locations, installing panels and maintaining equipment can become inefficient and costly.

To solve this, they now use what3words as a key part of their operations. what3words has divided up the world into 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares, giving every spot a simple 3 word address. And that means any location, however remote, can now easily be communicated and navigated to.

Videre uses this technology to pinpoint each piece of project equipment to a square on the map. It makes for smoother installation and ongoing maintenance which, in turn, ensures a better service for their customers.

Lighting up Francistown

Francistown, in Northern Botswana, is the nation’s second largest city and a key commercial centre. It’s also the location for one of a number of projects undertaken by Videre as part of their ‘Seeing is Believing’ venture.

Botswana is investing in two large city street lighting projects, using off-grid solar LED technology. The lighting units are designed in Botswana and engineered, delivered and installed by Videre Global. Each street light is then allocated a 3 word address as a locator and unique identifier.

The first installation saw four lights installed, at ///tells.tiling.those, ///shrimps.bath.reason, ///leopard.looked.croak and ///outgoing.choppy.career, with 13 more quickly following.

More than light

When installing domestic solar units, Videre is also able to help customers discover and record their own 3-word address. It provides customers with a simple way to identify their location for future maintenance requirements, as well as creating opportunities with a host of other service providers.

Mr Lebuile Israel, Francistown City Clerk, explained, “The Seeing is Believing project has demonstrated clearly an improved quality of light, reduction in energy consumption and a clear return on the investment. We hope Francistown will shine a light for others to follow”.

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