A local company wants to light up the world.
Miamian Will Perego was working in real estate when he was introduced to the concept of a green city, one that could sustain itself without using conventional energy sources.
Perego, who says he often “found it difficult to find the time and ways to help others,” thought this might be an opportunity for a career shift, to create something both profitable and meaningful.
Three years ago, he and two partners started mPower Solar Generator, a company whose goal is create solar generated energy products both for the developed and developing world.
What it is:
mPower is a for-profit, clean technology company. Its first product is a portable solar power generator.
The unit is made up of two solar panels and a battery in a small portable case. The battery makes it possible to store solar energy so the power can be used at night. While other portable solar generators already exist, many have hiccups — the battery and the panels are sold separately, or units might be too small to be effective or too big to be portable.
The problem it solves:
In the developed world, portable solar generators can offer an alternative to heavy, noxious gas-based generators during extended power outages or outdoor activities.
In the developing world, it offers electricity for the 1 billion people still not connected to the grid without the cost of kerosene or health problems caused by burning charcoal.
How it works:
mPower is licensing the technology from UM, FIU, UCF, and possibly Georgia Tech, while also working with students from UM and FIU to continue developing products.
It provides solar generators in the developing world with a buy-one, donate-one model in partnership with TECHO, a nonprofit organization in Latin America and the Caribbean. For each unit bought, one is donated to a family in a developing country.
This year mPower is launching the solar generator and next year they’ll launch the 24-hour Solar Roof.
Additionally, mPower will be selecting one winner to become an ambassador for 2017. That person’s job it will be to travel the world distributing donated solar generators in collaboration with TECHO.
The ambassador will receive a salary of $150,000 to deliver these generators to places like Haiti, Honduras, and other countries where solar generators are in need. They will have to report back to the world everything he or she sees on their trip.
Sound like something you want to do? The challenge lasts until May 24, when 12 finalists will be chosen. In June, they’ll select a winner.