Thanks for the comment. We have three types of partners that we're always on the lookout for: - Community-based organizations focused on development issues within their specific community - Minigrid project developers - Software developers
For the first two, we're currently focused in Southeast Asia and working through the Hydro Empowerment Network. We are also exploring partnerships in India and East Africa. We're looking for community-based organizations with an interest in building local capacity for resource and energy management.
For software development, this is something we've been relying on from a few different small firms, although we'd really like to develop more in-house capacity for this. Financial resources are our main constraint here.
Thanks again for the question. Looking forward to hearing the outcome of the next stage.
Thanks for the feedback. We're still adding to our beneficiary feedback questions, so it's helpful to hear your comments.
HPNET is exactly the type of network that we'd like to use to disseminate the project. We already plan to produce and distribute a webinar through HPNET later this fall. We just announced our project on their forum this week and issued a survey for developers as part of our research for the beneficiary feedback stage. Results will be included as an attachment.
There are a number of forums that we regularly attend that are great platforms to raise awareness (Asia Clean Energy Forum, Sustainable Energy for All, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, etc.). We plan to participate in panels and offer workshops at these events to reach more developers. We also work with the International Renewable Energy Agency that publishes on best-practices for renewable energy deployment. We expect to work through them to reach developers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
For support, one specific need relates to software development. We are currently working with a full-stack development team, but would like to build more in-house capacity for this purpose. We have a great network of people with expertise in energy system design, community development, minigrid projects, and software development, but a major limiting factor at this stage is the financial resources needed to expand our core team.
The Navajo Water Project looks interesting and appears to have a strong community focus. They mention the communities are off-grid, so I expect that energy for water pumping and heating would be needed. Minigrids could certainly be used in this context to provide electricity, but the density of houses may determine whether a minigrid or individual home systems are better. The Minigrid Game could be used by the community to explore how to build out the community infrastructure, with water pumping and heating as an important use of energy.
Some examples of management issues that may come up in their project that our approach is meant to explore: - how can the community be involved in setting the water tariff? - what do you do when someone is late on payments or doesn't pay at all? - is the community willing to use the funds for maintenance and repairs? how do you know? - how much water is needed and will the tariff be enough to support the cost?
We try to answer these questions for electricity, but the same approach could be applied to the supply of water.