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For Release: May 10, 2001

Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office

Lori J. Rachul
Media Relations Office


Solar Village Exhibit Opening Explains NASA Contribution

An exhibit opening May 12 at the African American Museum will show how a remote West African village used NASA technology to rely on the sun to provide its sole source of electricity. The project took place in Tangaye Village in what is now Burkina Faso during the 1970's and continued until the village received electricity in 1979.

The exhibit includes a 124-watt solar power system, a model of what revolutionized an African village that had once used mortars and pestles to grind its grain. The Museum, NASA Glenn Research Center and the Consortium for Advancing Renewable Energy Technologies are co-sponsoring the $6,000 exhibit.

Dr. Willie Mackey, an electrical engineer at Glenn, envisions future applications of solar power featured in the exhibit: "The World Bank and other international groups concerned with economic development in developing countries are aggressively pursuing building renewable energy technologies in remote villages. With successes like that of Tangaye Village behind us, we are well positioned for future applications of solar energy."

The African Solar Village activities will be integrated with the New Day In Hough Festival presented annually by Cleveland Councilwoman Fannie Lewis of Ward 7. In addition, well known Cleveland attorney Andre Bustamante will speak at 10 a.m. on Business Opportunities in Community Renewable Resources and a dedication to Professor Zine Gaston Ndyajunwoha will take place at noon. Professor Ndyajunwoha, recently deceased and a former Cuyahoga Community College professor, was a strong proponent for the use of solar energy in Africa. The event will conclude with an African Fashion Show at 3 p.m.

Media representatives interested in attending the Solar Village Exhibit Opening are asked to call Katherine Martin or the Media Relations Office (216/433-2901). The African American Heritage Museum is located at 1765 Crawford Road, Cleveland, OH.

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