Project Maldives 1A
It’s time to save the world.
Never in the history of mankind has saving the planet been more imperative. Global warming and its consequent rising sea levels threaten to destroy Earth, and none face the disastrous consequences of this more acutely than the beautiful islands of Maldives.
Enter Project Maldives – a green campaign to replace diesel generators on the tourist islands of the Maldives with clean, sustainable solar energy systems.
The reason for doing this is simple: with every reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced by diesel generators, the greater the mitigation of the disastrous effects of global warming, which lays the stage for the future reversal of these effects. This project is an absolutely crucial first step towards the preservation of an entire country, its people and its livelihood… and subsequently, our planet Earth.
Why It Matters
Global warming is caused by an increased concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, of which carbon dioxide is a main component. These greenhouse gases trap heat, resulting in erratic weather shifts and the melting of our polar ice caps and glaciers, thus contributing to rising sea levels.
The last 150 years alone has seen a sharp rise in carbon dioxide emissions due to the increased burning of fossil fuels to produce electricity, power our transportation and fuel our industrial activities.
Scientists have calculated that our planet faces changes on a catastrophic scale the moment our atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide hits 450ppm (parts per million). Today, we are already at 380ppm, and it is estimated that we will hit the critical value in 25 years from now.
As the flattest country in the world, the Maldives are particularly vulnerable to any changes in weather patterns, currents, and even a small increase in sea level. A necessity for survival has made the locals and the resort operators natural conservationists, and the Maldives have the most extensive environmental controls of any country in the world. Small wonder that this tiny archipelago is now a role model for the planet in environmental conservation, and paves the way in the development of ecotourism.
With tourism being the main source of income for the inhabitants of Maldives, and with most of the locals making a living working as resort staff, responsible eco-tourism and an active step towards reducing the carbon footprint of each resort is necessary to ensure that the country’s land, people and economy perseveres.
The Maldivian government has already pledged to have all of Maldives be carbon-neutral by 2019. With the support of Yingli Solar, our backers and each and every person on this planet, we can make this happen.
We can ensure the continuity of a beautiful country and planet Earth, our home.
Spearheaded by Yingli Solar, the global industry leader in solar energy and the global leading manufacturer of solar panels, Project Maldives is an important part of Yingli Solar’s vision of a clean world with affordable and sustainable eco-friendly energy for all.
Yingli Solar envisions a future where we not only reduce the impact of global warming; we actively work towards building a healthy and thriving planet for the generations to come. We are strongly committed to causing and inspiring positive social and environmental change, and we are constantly looking at new and innovative ways to realise our vision for the world.
With a parent company based in China and international offices spanning the globe, Yingli Solar is proud to be the first company worldwide to receive the Product Carbon Footprint Verification from TÜV Rheinland, a prestigious international provider of technical services in the solar industry. Yingli Solar has previously sponsored the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Project Maldives is the brainchild of Angie Koh, the director of the Singapore arm of Yingli Solar.
Collaborating with us on the first step of this momentous journey is the Soneva Group, known for its gorgeous resorts in Maldives, Thailand and Aqua, that balance luxury with extensive environmental conservation. The Soneva Group is founded by Sonu Shivdasani, who is also the founder and former CEO of Six Senses Resort & Spas – an international, multimillion-dollar luxury spa chain.
Soneva Fushi resort – the Maldivian arm of the Soneva Group, will be the primary site for the inaugural implementation of Project Maldives.
The Location: Soneva Fushi
The first stage of Project Maldives will be implemented at the Soneva Fushi resort, located on the Kunfunadhoo Island of South Maalhosmadulu, in the Baa Atoll of the Maldives.
Measuring 1400 metres long and 400 metres wide, Kunfunadhoo is a 50-hectare island making up just one of 1,192 islands in the Maldives. The stunning natural beauty of these islands means that most of them are home to resorts for holiday makers.
The Maldivian economy depends heavily on tourism, with a large proportion of their population finding employment as staff of these resorts. Maldives is home to several UNESCO protected biospheres and marine sites. One such site, a 119-hectare area of house reef, is under conservation by Soneva Fushi.
Soneva Fushi is incredibly sensitive to the environment, making their own compost from their food waste to fertilize the herbs and vegetables that they grow for consumption at their own restaurants. 47% of the resort’s water supply comes from rainwater collection, with the remainder coming from wells and the resort’s own desalination process.
As such, Soneva Fushi is an ideal starting point for a solar energy solution.
Project Maldives will see the installation of a large bank of solar panels, 612kwp in size, on Kunfunadhoo to replace some of the diesel systems currently in place. The solar panels will take over 40% of the total power consumption of the island, with plans to increase this capacity over the next few years. This will be the largest solar-diesel hybrid system in existence.
This 612kwp system will massively reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from the current diesel systems being used on Soneva Fushi by 547.281 tonnes per year. Yingli Solar and Soneva Fushi are looking towards having 100% solar energy powering the island in future, which will obliterate the need for diesel systems at all – a huge first step towards achieving carbon-neutral status.
The solar energy system that Yingli Solar will be installing at Soneva Fushi is 612kwp in size, roughly the size of 1.5 football fields. Yingli Solar will take care of the engineering, procurement and construction for this project, including the design and supply of the components for this system that is specifically tailored to the usage needs of Soneva Fushi, ensuring the most efficient energy conversion possible.
The primary installation cost of this system is US$650,000, which Yingli Solar and our investors will undertake for the first 2 years of Project Maldives. In other words, during this 2-year implementation phase, Soneva Fushi will pay no fee for the installation process or the solar equipment that they will be using; they will be paying only US$0.12 per kilowatt for the electricity generated by the solar panels, as agreed upon in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). This is far cheaper than the diesel systems they are currently using.
At the end of 2 years, after testing the suitability of the solar energy system for their needs, Soneva Fushi has the option to purchase the whole system from Yingli Solar at cost price. Yingli Solar will not profit from the sale of the system. This our guarantee to Soneva Fushi that the system will work, and work well, for them.
This arrangement benefits Soneva Fushi greatly by effectively removing the barrier of cost towards adopting a clean alternative to diesel, and encourages future upgrading to a 100% solar-derived, independent energy system.
Yingli Solar will also train the local team of technicians at Soneva Fushi with the essential skills required for the maintenance of the solar energy system. This ensures the smooth and reliable delivery of power to Soneva Fushi, while also enhancing and upgrading their technical capabilities.
We are looking for investors to support this solar initiative at Soneva Fushi, an initiative that will change the lives of the islanders.
As mentioned, the total cost of implementation for Project Maldives is US$650,000.
Yingli has already committed to US$300,000 to this project, to show our stake and dedication towards bringing this project to successful completion.
Our aim is to raise US$350,000 or more in investments for Project Maldives, to co-fund this solar energy system, its installation and maintenance.
The US$650,000 will go towards the design, engineering, manufacturing and installation of the solar energy system.
Project Maldives is already underway at Soneva Fushi, with the installation of the solar energy system targeted for end of October.
The system will be up and running in full by end of December 2015 – this is also the funding deadline for investors.
The end date of the project is targeted at December 2017.
Investors can expect an 8% yield per annum, to be paid out every December during the 2-year period. At the end of the 2-year period, in December 2017, investors will receive the full payout of their initial investment capital as well.
We are approaching investors both via the respected crowdfunding platform, FundedByMe, and also privately, amongst our own corporate contacts.
All investors will be kept updated on the progress of Project Maldives via reports from Yingli Solar. Yingli Solar will also be updating the public about Project Maldives on our website and on various social media platforms like Facebook, to maintain transparency and support for this initiative.
Project Maldives is the foundation stone that paves the way forward for environmental conservationism, one island at a time.
Yingli Solar and the Soneva Group are already making plans to expand this solar energy model to another Maldivian resort on Medhufaru Island – the Soneva Jani. We are looking at installing a 1.08mwp systemon Soneva Jani, over 2 phases.
Planning even further ahead, Yingli Solar and the Soneva Group are exploring a joint venture to market this solar solution to the other resorts on the Maldives, thus bringing the Maldives even closer to making carbon neutrality a reality. One day.
Saving the planet is no mean feat. But it is very much within our reach, as long as we are each willing to take that first step.