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  • Writer's pictureLilja team

Local students partner with We Share Solar to power communities in Kenya

At Lilja Communications, we are proud to promote the amazing work that We Share Solar does nationally to empower students to be global changemakers by combining solar energy and engineering education with real-world application.

Our team helped promote a local We Share Solar event on April 29 where students built nine portable, 12-volt DC We Share Solar Suitcases that will be sent to an electricity-scarce region of Kenya. The suitcases will produce enough solar energy to bring electricity to schools and other community buildings there.

Rep. Patty Acomb (DFL – Minnetonka), lead author of the Solar for Schools bill — a new $21 million grant program to fund solar curriculum and solar installations on the rooftops and grounds of Minnesota schools — attended.

We were happy to welcome all four major Twin Cities TV stations and for this wonderful, in-depth piece by Marielle Mohs that aired on WCCO. Local community publication Sun Current published a story as well.

This inspiring Solar Suitcase-building project at Hopkins West Junior High was initiated by University of Minnesota wildlife and conservation student Irina Kornberg, who raised funds to pay for the suitcases.

Now that the power units are assembled, they will be donated to communities near two incredible Kenyan wildlife conservation organizations that are working hard to protect wildlife from extinction and where Irina will study this fall: Save the Elephants and Ewaso Lions.

After following step-by-step instructions to assemble the solar units, students at Hopkins West Junior High charged the suitcases and tested their capabilities, culminating in a “light bulb moment” where all 60 students in grades seven through nine lit up their systems at the same time.

You can learn more about We Share Solar at

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Eden Prairie, MN 55347

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