Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the Swiss pilots and co-founders of the solar-powered airplane, Solar Impulse, have announced a partnership between ABB, a power and automation technology company, and PACT, an international non-governmental organization, to bring solar energy to rural communities in Myanmar.
The partnership was announced during Solar Impulse’s fourth stop on its trip around the world. The airplane landed in Mandalay, Myanmar, at 7:51 PM local time on March 19th. The next leg of the journey, scheduled for March 25th, will take the adventurers from Mandalay to Chongqing in China. The flight over 1,375 km (about 850 miles) will take an estimated 20 hours.
A 40-year-old NGO, PACT aims to develop local solar power production for 1 million people in Myanmar in the next 5 years to “increase quality of life, create economic opportunities and boost education in remote areas of the country.”
According to a statement by Richard Harrison, Country Director of PACT Myanmar, originally published on 1Sun4All, “PACT’s vision is to bring solar power to Myanmar. By starting with 700 charging stations that will help empower women’s businesses in rural communities, that vision is one step closer to reality. The message that Solar Impulse embodies has inspired us and our partner ABB – and helped catalyze a major effort to bring light to Myanmar.”
Stay tuned for more on Solar Impulse’s incredible journey and mission.