Achieving secure and portable rural electrification
2016 SAG-SEED Award Winner Clean Energy Cape Town, South Africa

SolarTurtles are deployed in a franchise model and electricity is sold to off-grid institutions, whose consumption is paid for and monitored through prepaid meters. Solar kiosks provide battery recharging stations and sell energy efficient devices, such as battery packs and home solar kits, to the wider community. These innovative and secure fold-away power stations deliver a dependable return on investment. The company also sells so-called “PowerTurtles”, which are secure power stations without a franchise model.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

SolarTurtle promotes community development by training women entrepreneurs to operate secure off-grid solar power stations. The project promotes education by electrifying off-grid schools and enhances health conditions in rural areas by providing an alternative to harmful sources of energy like kerosene and paraffin.
  • Promoting education in rural areas by deploying 58kW of solar power to off-grid schools.
  • Enhancing security by providing energy for lighting with 50-200 batteries recharged daily.
  • Enhancing health conditions through a clean source of energy.

  • Reducing carbon emissions by providing 58 kWp of clean electricity to replace paraffin and kerosene as the primary sources of energy in off-grid communities.



  • Enabling community members to save up to 55% on energy bills.
  • Training one woman entrepreneur, four technicians and three shop assistants per Solar Turtle community business.
  • Generating an average of ZAR 5,000 (USD 330) monthly profit for the first community entrepreneur over the last six months.



This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Ugesi Gold manages the SolarTurtle franchise. The social enterprise designs and manages the community electrification projects.

Greater Capital is an NGO that manages grant funding and ensures the validation of the project’s social impact.

Stellenbosch University incubated SolarTurtle during the pilot phase and still supports the project today with office space and by promoting it through their networks.

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James van der Walt
Tel: +277 23219070

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