Bringing Light To Kenyans
PG&E’s Solar Suitcase Program
October 2016

​Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has gone international with its commitment to provide safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy. Through the company’s new Solar Suitcase Program, students across California have developed portable solar units—solar suitcases.

PG&E and We Care Solar donated more than $8,000 worth of equipment and professional training to 19 regional high schools. To date, nearly 1,100 California students have participated, and some of the finished solar suitcases already light the living spaces of more than 2,400 Kenyan students.

“I love that PG&E’s Solar Suitcase Program combines education in clean energy with fostering a spirit of community service. It’s about helping students act locally and think globally,” said PG&E’s Helen Burt, senior vice president, external affairs and public policy.

Christina To, a future program participant and student at Pinole Valley High School, said, “What I am truly looking forward to with the Solar Suitcase Program is the opportunity to work with my peers on a project that provides a solution to a problem that we are all passionate about in order to make a difference beyond our own community.”

The program also invites students to participate in a competition highlighting their own local sustainability projects. Winning schools will choose student and teacher representatives to deliver suitcases to orphanages, schools, and medical clinics in Kenya with international nonprofit, The WE Charity. Additional suitcases will be sent to energy-poor regions around the world.

An original version of this story appeared on Currents: New Perspectives From Pacific Gas and Electric Company.