Various stakeholders from different entities, led by the Department of Energy (DoE), converged on the Maruapula Secondary School to conduct a site visit of the school’s solar thermal installations which were 50% sponsored by the Solar Thermal Training and Development Initiative (SOLTRAIN).
Also in attendance was Ms. Helvi Ileka from the Namibia Energy Institute, SOLTRAIN’s Namibian country partner.
The installations at the school involved the refurbishing the existing solar heating system at the boys’ hostel and installling new solar thermal systems at the girls’ hostel.
The proceedings started with the principal of the school, Mr. A. Taylor giving a welcoming address. In his address, he thanked the Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC) and the SOLTRAIN project sponsors (Austrian Development Agency and OPEC) for their support.
CERC Director, Prof. E. Matlotse, outlined the SOLTRAIN project achievements to date and thanked the school and the SO SOLAR (Pty) Ltd for partnering in the project.
Ms. K. Giffard of SO SOLAR (Pty) Ltd, took the attendees through how they, as a company, executed the installations from start to finish. She emphasised that an important thing to note was that they had been beneficiaries of the SOLTRAIN training programme, and had thus become elligible to apply for SOLTRAIN funding to kickstart the project. They then approach the school after consulting its respective management and they were successful. Finally, they executed the installations. She also took time to thank the school management, CECR and the project sponsors.
After the speeches, attendees conducted a tour of the installations. Proceedings were closed by Mr. H. Ngwenya of Capricon Solar (Pty) Ltd. In his closing address, he thanked everyone who came to this important occasion and encouraged all stakeholders in the solar thermal technology space nationally to work towards realising the Botswana Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap (BSTTR). He added that even though it will be challenging, it is still achievable!