The Development and Planning Process of Installations
LUTW’s main objective is to improve the quality of life in communities far from the electrical grid in Peru. This process from start to finish takes a lot of time, patience, and community engagement. Our team is committed to being transparent through the process and working one-on-one with every community to ensure training, education, and development. To ensure all our installations remain in good use and sustainable every community is fully assessed based on certain criteria.
With over 13 years of on the ground experience in Peru, LUTW has built a strong and skilled team of local technicians and contacts that help us with our initial outreach. Travel to remote regions of Peru is often very expensive and time intensive for our small team based in Lima. An initial meet and community evaluation with a local contact or technician is done to assess the viability of the community. LUTW is often approached by communities to bring our services to them so there are always potential community sites. The evaluation is required to have a greater understanding of what the main challenges are in the community, their needs assessment, and perceived challenges our Team and Volunteers may have during a project. As we start working with the last-mile communities of the Andes and the Amazon, accessibility to the community is crucial. We do not discount communities that have poor accessibility – their communities will be reviewed and paired with certain project groups depending on funding and size.
Some important criteria we take into consideration when assessing a community:
- Geographical Location: How remote is the community? Will the electrical grid make it to their community in the next couple of years? How many hours will it take for our team and project volunteers to arrive on site? What is the altitude? Where is the closest town or health center in case of an emergency? What are the road conditions like and are there access roads in and out of the community? Weather will play a role in the conditions of the roads so access roads are monitored depending on the weather and time of year the project would take place.
- Installation Assessment: Based on the individualized needs of the community what is their energy consumption and need level? What electrical appliances and school equipment are they looking to power? Based on these results LUTW will decipher the size of the installation needed to power the community. This will correlate with the difficulty of the installation and whether it can be installed in a 4-day span. The design must satisfy the identified needs and is carried out using high quality equipment to avoid long-term failures. A maintenance plan is designed in which relevant information is left behind so that the community in the future, can expand the system or replace the battery bank.
- Community involvement: Is everything! LUTW believes in providing power to build capacity and economic opportunity for the communities we work with. We need to ensure that every community is in agreeance that they will listen and learn how to care for the system and the batteries. Ensure they request support in cases where the install may need outside assistance. Batteries are sensitive and need to be properly maintained to ensure their longevity and long-term sustainability. LUTW wants to see the impact of our installations reach future generations within the community. To ensure this commitment, an agreement is signed between the community leaders and teachers.