The engineering professional association awarded the funding in late December as part of its Smart Village competition for community-level power services.
Winners include Africa Development Promise in Uganda, which combines women’s entrepreneurship, technical skills training, and solar-powered agricultural equipment; and PNG Community Transformation Center in Papua New Guinea, which deploys solar microgrids to power rural community centers.
The seven winners, from a pool of 30 applicants, were selected on their potential to impact at least one million people in five years. “Clean, reliable electricity in a sustainable, scalable business model is key to enabling a better quality of life,” said Ray Larsen of IEEE Smart Village.
The program aims to help 50 million people in off-grid communities by 2025.