This paper presents a technical approach to the electrification of dispersed rural areas with the so-called Solar Home Systems. Lessons learned from the past show not only problems and mistakes but also interesting positive points. The electrification of remote areas, with low-density population and low energy consumption is still a problem to solve. Sustainability is a main issue addressed in all rural electrification assessment actions, together with financing of programs and systems. This work tries to advance in the knowledge on reliability and maintenance, planning and execution, in a dispersed rural electrification market. It is based on the 10-year field experience in the province of Jujuy, Argentina. In the most dispersed areas of the province, there are about 3000 households plus a minor number of schools, churches, health posts, and community premises electrified with small individual photovoltaic systems from a decade ago. Most remarkable outcomes from a long-term operation and monitoring action are summarized and analyzed in the following pages. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.