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COMET-ME, News Letter, December 2010
By COMET-ME


Dear Friends and colleagues.


During the last two months we have been working to provide renewable energy for two more communities and to upgrade the existing systems for another two communities to match the growing power needs. By now we have completed 11 installations providing about 100KW daily to 1000 people. There 20 more communities in the area!

We completed the installation of 1KW solar system and 1KW wind turbine in the community of Wadi Gkheish, providing about 8KWH daily for the 50 people of the community. Wadi Gkheish is a small isolated community south of the Jewish settlement of Susya. The people of the community live on their land for many years and suffer constantly from the harassment of the settlers trying to limit their steps, prevent them from grazing their herds and finally to expel them from their land.

Last week we arrived with all the equipment and with a team of volunteers, and together with the people of the community we worked for three days to complete the installation. Working shoulder to shoulder with the members of the community was great fun and we enjoyed their great hospitality.

After the completion of the work in Wadi Gkheish we continued to the community of Beer Al Eid. The people of this community were expelled from their land where they lived in caves and tents in 2000. Last winter, after a supreme court ruling, they were allowed to get back to their land . We accompanied them since then and were able to provide them with an emergency solution of a small solar system to provide light in the cave. Now we came back to the community to install a 1.6KW solar system. At the moment it is a small community of 4 families,
but more and more families are planning to go back to their old village. Beer al Eid is located on the eastern slopes of the mountain. We felt a little like goats during this installation, running up and down with the tools and the cables.

In stark contrast to the work we do in the field Comet-ME co-founder Elad Orian was invited to attend the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in September in NY city. Comet was given complementary membership of the CGI so, wearing a suit for the first time in my life, I went to meet the big guys. It was quite an experience, and very much out of the ordinary. Probably most important for us was getting to meet and talk to various other groups around the world doing renewable rural electrification, which was very interesting and humbling, seeing all these people who have been working on the issues for much longer. We do hope to form some long term partnerships to share knowledge and maybe implement joint projects.

After the CGI event Comet-ME visited several universities in the north-east. The trip was made available by a generous invitation from JstreetU, to come and talk to their groups in the campuses of Yale, Harvard, Brandeis, Tufts, Princeton and Columbia. We used the opportunity to meet some Engineers Without Borders groups and have already started a joint project with the
Princeton EWB branch.






RY

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