“Rio startup invests in solar energy at Morro Dona Marta”, report on the G1 website on 11/14/14

Panel will be installed in a community day care center and will reduce the electricity bill.
Project is aimed at residents of pacified communities.

Lilian Quaino From G1 Rio
 
insolarcortada
 
Sunlight conditions in the community captured by the Sun Seeker mobile app (Photo: Disclosure/Henrique Drumond)

Also in the first quarter of 2015, the community of Morro Dona Marta, in Botafogo, in the South Zone of Rio, will have a pilot solar energy project that will reduce the electricity bill of the day care center where it will be installed. The project is from the startup Insolar, from Rio de Janeiro entrepreneur Henrique Drumond, awarded in Shell's Iniciativa Jovem program. The objective is to democratize solar energy and the target audience is residents of pacified communities in Rio.

In addition to the prize of R$ 8 thousand from Shell, Insolar received a contribution of R$ 10 thousand from Sitawi Finance for Good, a non-profit organization that develops innovative financial solutions for socio-environmental impact, including social lending. With that amount and with the partnership of other companies in the field, Henrique says he can install the photovoltaic panel, which will capture solar energy to be transformed into electricity. But he also participates in Light's public call to support energy efficiency projects.

He explains that the Energy Efficiency Program (PEE) of the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel) determines that energy distributors reserve 0.5% of operating revenue for energy efficiency projects.

?In the case of Light, it represents an annual amount of R$ 30 million. Light and other energy distributors make public calls for projects to attract and support projects and Insolar is participating, he explained.

Insolar will install the photovoltaic panel at the day care center for free, but, in a second stage of the project, when the panels can be installed in residents' homes, the company intends to charge a percentage on what consumers will save on their electricity bills.

?We operate in a network, through partnerships. Our first contact with Dona Marta was through a friend who lives there. Then we had support from Rio+Social, the city government's investment program in pacified communities. Other partners are Solarize and Joneson, who have already installed photovoltaic panels connected to the distributors' networks, he said.

For him, installing the panel is the icing on the cake. Before that, there is a lot of work with the community.

?In order for us to promote this solar energy market, we need environmental awareness and, for that, we are going to offer environmental education in the nursery and qualification and training for professionals in the community so that the project can develop. It makes no sense to install equipment and not promote the market with qualified labor. The project is not ours, we understand that it could belong to the community?, he said.

Henrique Drumond is from Rio de Janeiro, he is 31 years old, graduated in business administration and lives in Lagoa, but he prefers to say that he is a resident of Rio. After an experience at a large company in the real estate market and another as a volunteer at an NGO in Mozambique, Africa, he decided to unite the two worlds and invest, with his partner Michel Baitelli, in a social business.

?Our interest is in social business to generate a positive impact on society. We adopted this social business model, which has a different format, it is between the traditional business model and the model of an NGO, because its purpose is social and environmental impact. But it also assumes that the business is going to be financially self-sustaining?, he explained.

For Henrique, the role of the Iniciativa Jovem program was fundamental in drawing up the business plan.

?It is fundamental for the entrepreneur to have a flight plan, a nautical chart. As navigator Amyr Klink says, if you don't know where you're going, even the wind isn't favorable, he said.

 

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