The village of Long Lawen is located in Sarawak, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Borneo, the third largest island in the world, is home to the oldest, most biologically diverse tropical rainforests on earth. The community of Long Lawen has committed to protecting a large area of forest near the village.
Like many remote island villages, Long Lawen depends primarily on diesel generators to provide electricity. Diesel fuel is expensive and noisy; it pollutes the air and is extremely inconvenient to obtain.
Seacology has provided funding to the Borneo Project, in cooperation with the nonprofit Green Empowerment, so Long Lawen can use micro-hydro technology. Micro-hydro generates electricity by harnessing the power of small streams that have significant vertical drop. Because the equipment is small-scale, electricity is produced without harming the environment. The Long Lawen turbine generates 12 kilowatts of electricity 24 hours a day. That is enough to light a school and a local clinic, and to power a refrigerator for medicines. It will save the community thousands of dollars each year in diesel fuel costs and will serve as a model for other island villages.