Photo: The Viridian Energy team works to install solar panels in the village of Potrero Platanal, Nicaragua. (Viridian Energy)
This year residents of a rural Nicaraguan village turned on a light switch for the first time, thanks to Viridian Energy and its 7 Continents in 7 Years global sustainability initiative.
Connecticut-based Viridian launched the initiative in its first year as a company, looking to impact every continent through its sustainable offerings. In its fifth year, the renewable energy company set its sights on Central America and the remote village of Potrero Platanal. There Viridian partnered with GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit organization that provides off-grid solar power to rural communities in Nicaragua.
Viridian brought 36 of its top-performing associates and employees to the village, where they worked to bring solar power and light to 40 families. The team of “voluntourists” received special training before transporting the custom systems by hand or horseback and installing them throughout the village.
“As our fifth project, completed in our fifth year of operation, the work in Portrero Platanal represents our most ambitious project to date, as well as a significant milestone for Viridian,” Founder and CEO Michael Fallquist said in the company’s release. “I was personally proud to be a part of this installation as it serves as further proof of Viridian’s holistic efforts to fulfill our obligation as a responsible, global, corporate citizen.”
7 Continents in 7 Years began with reforestation efforts in the Amazon, where the company has returned annually and planted more than 1,700 trees through its Amazon Preservation Project. Viridian has also brought solar power and lighting and clean water pipelines to villages in Indonesia, Ghana and Fiji.