Powering Up Remote Communities
Newsweek|June 07, 2019
Powering Up Remote Communities

Troy Billett wants to provide power and purify water around the world, one box and one village at a time

Juliana Pignataro

IN ANTICIPATION OF THE 50TH anniversary of NASA astronauts landing on the moon, Newsweek is spotlighting pioneers in science and technology, who highlight their very own moonshots and how they hope to change the world.

Twenty-five-year-old Troy Billett is the director of OffGridBox, a startup dedicated to providing affordable energy and clean drinking water in rural communities while empowering entrepreneurs on the ground. A finalist for the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity’s Sustainable Energy challenge, Billett wants these 6-by-6-foot boxes to light up villages around the world, in more ways than one.

What is your moonshot?

My moonshot is to provide affordable renewable energy and safe water for the rest of the world. A billion people across the globe need access to both of these things; by pairing them, we can really make a difference.

How does OffGridBox work to provide those things?

We have a small shipping container—6 feet by 6 feet—with solar panels on top and a water purification mechanism inside. Each box can serve up to 2,000 people in a rural village.

What is the big problem you want to solve?

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June 07, 2019