Sahay Solar – Ethiopia

Swiss Partners

Sahay Solar Association Switzerland, Basel,,
Ruedi Tobler

SUPSI/ISAAC, Canobbio,,
Domenico Chianese, Roman Rude

Project Type:

Pilot project





Project Status:


Project Start:


End of Project:





Swiss Contribution

The theoretical and practical training of Ethiopian professionals in the solar technology field is provided by Swiss experts (SUPSI/ISAAC) at the Arba Minch University (AMU) in Ethiopia. Swiss (e.g. Studer, Tritec, Holinger Solar) and EU companies (SMA, Hoeppecke, Christiani) undertake the supply and delivery of required solar technology components for training, as well as for photovoltaic (PV) installations at rural health centers. Sahay Solar supports and ensures the project management, based on their extensive experience.


The project’s key objectives are the training and establishment of three fixed solar teams who can electrify 100% autonomous health centers and other locations with off-grid PV solar installations (planning, logistics, installation, control and hand over to public authorities). For this purpose and in addition to theoretical instruction under expert guidance, a total of 12 rural health centers will be electrified by these solar teams, in order to further enhance acquired practical knowledge and to gain the necessary experience in order to carry out independent projects. REPIC had previously supported a first step for this work in 2009/2010 (Project No: 2010.02), which included the Solar Competence Center’s development at the AMU, as well as training for students and technicians within the framework of solar training and practical projects.


The educational material created in collaboration with SUPSI and HSLU was used during the four “Advanced Solar Training” courses that took place. 35 participants (34 men and one woman) took part. 28 of those trained have each received a university certificate. As planned, 12 clinics were electrified by solar power. These clinics serve a population of 436,000 inhabitants. Similar training courses were replicated at the Debre Markos University, where 17 additional participants were certified. Four people obtained a government mandate for maintenance at the actual PV installations.


Trained technicians are now able to apply their knowledge to more electrification projects. Other courses will be organized in cooperation with local authorities and universities. Health services have been strengthened by access to solar power. Sahay Solar was awarded the “Swiss Solar Prize 2017,” for its solar development work in Ethiopia.