Global Solace (GSI) is a US based 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization with the mission to bring reliable and renewable sources of energy to those living in energy poverty in all reaches of the world. Established in 2009, Global Solace aims to improve the lives of individuals and communities through the implementation of sustainable, renewable solar energy sources, thereby increasing access to education, health and social services.
To achieve this vision, Global Solace works closely with identified communities through partner organizations to install renewable energy systems on rural schools and health clinics. Additionally, Global Solace educates and trains local populations on renewable energy technology, design, installation and repair in order to build local capacity and create jobs, helping to stimulate the local economy.
GSI’s expertise is the engineering, procurement, and construction of solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generating systems plus 25 years implementing computer networks and application software. While the majority of our founders experience has been providing residential and commercial systems in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, we have currently completed projects in Haiti and have several more projected for Honduras, Tanzania and South Africa. Board of Directors member Neville Williams was responsible for the installation of over 75,000 small PV systems in India, Vietname, and Sri Lanka in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.
GSI has implemented the latest technology in some of our systems including high efficient Direct Current (DC) appliances, such as LED lights, latest ARM technology low wattage computers, Internet access, and remote monitoring of system performance. The general principle is to minimize the electrical usage through DC power distribution (rather than AC power) and low wattage appliances so that the effectiveness of the solar array electricity is maximized.
GSI feels it is important to measure our success by performing follow up visits to ensure that the systems are maintained properly and are being used effectively, requesting reports from our partner organizations regarding system operation, issues and problems, and surveying students and medical workers to determine the effectiveness of our school and clinic computer systems.
GSI founder Lee Bristol co-founded Standard Solar, Inc with GSI’s Board of Directors member Neville Williams. Neville founded the non-profit Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF.org) and co-founded SELCO-India, which has installed over 75,000 solar home systems in India, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka in the 1980s and 1990s. GSI is carrying on Neville’s legacy by installing renewable energy systems in the Developing World.
It was on a trip to Kenya in 2001 that Lee saw a windmill on the Masai Mara and the value that renewable energy could provide the local people. You might say that the light bulb turned on! It was later that year that Lee installed solar PV on his house and began LBA Renewable Energy Systems that morphed into Standard Solar with Neville Williams. Lee’s wife of 32 years Linda, a Special Education teacher, passed away in early 2009. Lee climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in August 2010 and dedicated his life to improving lives of students in the developing world in her name. GSI selected its first 3 locations based upon existing relationships with the people there: (1) Carcasse, Haiti where the school was constructed by a local Maryland Catholic parish, (2) Usa River, Tanzania where our Kilimanjaro guide grew up, and (3) the Township of Richmond, South Africa where Lee’s daughter‘s organization “Hope in South Africa” runs a community center that provides food, recreation, and a safe place to learn about HIV and AIDS prevention.
In November 2011, GSI received 501(c)(3) status as a charitable organization. In February 2012, GSI traveled back to Haiti to evaluate the solar array installed on the school in 2009. The result was a re-definition of the standard “school PV system” that we had envisioned. The new system includes not just solar PV and lights, but adds high efficiency LED lights, a networked computer lab with projector, Internet access, remote virtual classrooms (solar streetlights for studying at night), cell phone charging, and a suite of free open-source educational software.
On January 1, 2013, Lee retired from Standard Solar to devote all of his time to Global Solace. In July of 2013, GSI won a contract to perform site visits on twenty health clinics in Tanzania and to design appropriate PV systems for these rural clinics.
Our goal is a world where every man, woman and child has access to the essential rights of life; food, water, health and education. We believe that this can be made possible through clean, affordable and renewable sources of energy and access to educational opportunities amplified by the Internet. To further this goal, GSI will make available its consulting services to other like-minded individuals and organizations so that the technology can be made available to as many people as possible. We believe that all people, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender, should have the ability to access electricity to improve their daily lives. We believe in the value of increasing the amount of energy that comes from renewable sources around the world, impacting global climate change as well as global energy sustainability. We will promote collaborative approaches and multilateral solutions to the issue of energy poverty. We ask and listen to our clients describe the services they need and the way they want them delivered.
The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. The goals are:
GSI feels that we can meaningfully contribute to all of these goals.
Global Solace has adopted the SEIA Code of Ethics v. 3.22.10 as a basic premise that governs how we conduct business. As a member organization of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), we are committed to protecting the rights of businesses, consumers and users of solar energy systems. We are dedicated to providing safe and effective products, accurate information, and reliable services. As part of these commitments, we will: