SolarTurtle was founded by James van der Walt who envisioned making renewable energy accessible to everyone in order to make a lasting, positive impact on less-privileged communities. SolarTurtle was a company born as a result of his Masters Degree research project (CRSES Stellenbosch University) in 2012, and has since expanded to what it is today.
Charlene Barnes was an integral part of the SolarTurtle journey and inception and was inspired by James’ passion and cause. As a co-founder, she supported James in his research, the creation of SolarTurtle and the operational and design aspects thereof.
SolarTurtle launched and deployed it first container Hub in 2015 in Eastern Cape. SolarTurtle approached the community to find its first entrepreneur to run the container Hub and that led to the introduction of Lungelwa Tyali. She started as the first SolarTurtle entrepreneur and later became part of the SolarTurtle team due to her enthusiasm for the cause. Refer to the about page for more details on the SolarTurtle team members.