Schneider Electric presented an off-grid solar photovoltaic facility to local officials in Marovato, on Madagascar's east coast, as part of its in-house BipBop energy access program for “people at the bottom of the pyramid,” in the words of a Schneider release.

Schneider Electric deployed its full range of skills and competencies to offer Marovato's 120 residents access to energy that is safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green. To carry out this project, the group forged an innovative partnership with businesses, associations and residents within the Jirano association, whose mission is to set up a sustainable electricity supply system for isolated villages in Madagascar.

Schneider Electric and its partners developed a dedicated solution tailored to the nature and size of this project. The installation included a Xantrex photovoltaic inverter and charger, circuit breakers and remote supervision and monitoring of the electrical enclosure via the GSM network. The facility generates peak power of 1,400W. In comparison, the village currently uses 490W. Schneider Electric and the Jirano association also developed a program to teach residents how to maintain the facility. In all, 12 jobs in electricity-related fields were created. In 2009, projects supported by Schneider Electric in Madagascar are expected to electrify 1,000 households, train 100 people and create 50 additional jobs.

In a country with a limited power grid where only 20% of the population has access to electricity, off-grid clean energy solutions are a simple and efficient way to meet the development needs of disadvantaged communities, Schneider Electric stated. The Marovato electrification project is the first initiative to come out of Schneider Electric's BipBop program, which stands for “Business Investment (for) People at the Bottom of the Pyramid.”