Haiti – Technology : Solar micro-grids, huge potential for rural areas
Almost 75% of Haitian citizens do not have access to electricity due to a limited and unreliable electricity grid, which forces many small towns to seek their own solutions in order to provide electricity to local households, schools and growing economic sectors.
Through a partnership with EarthSpark International, a Washington-based nonprofit, the United States Agency for Trade and Development (USTDA) helps plan and deliver clean microgrid solutions in communities in Haiti.
In 2015, EarthSpark began operating a community micro-network in the town of Les Anglais, in the southwest of Haiti https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-14095-haiti-technology-first-solar-powered-microgrid.html
To replicate this success in Haiti, EarthSpark turned to USTDA for help, and the Agency responded by funding a national assessment of the potential of solar-powered microgrids in 89 rural Haitian towns https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-14065-haiti-economy-towards-pre-pay-microgrids.html . This process also assessed critical factors including economic activity, electricity demand and infrastructure requirements.
The study, conducted with EarthSpark’s Haitian affiliate, “Enèji Pwòp,” as well as local universities and a think tank, led to the implementation in 2019 of a new solar-powered micro-grid in the southwest city of Tiburon, where 500 homes and businesses now have access to clean and reliable electricity. In addition, the deployment of advanced SparkMeter equipment has also enabled greater energy efficiency and resilience in case of severe hurricanes.
Tiburon is now one of the few communities in Haiti with reliable 24-hour electricity. EarthSpark now has plans to dramatically scale up its microgrids in Haiti to 24 smart, solar-powered grids in the next four years, to be financed in part by a $9.9 million commitment from the Green Climate Fund.
“Microgrids hold enormous potential to quickly bring electricity to communities across rural Haiti,” said Allison Archambault, President at EarthSpark International. “With local and national government support as well as international cooperation, the launch of the Tiburon grid https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-22359-haiti-technology-solar-energy-continues-to-expand-to-nan-sevre.html is a success story for multi-sector partnerships building a market that can scale-up to sustainably electrify the 70 percent of the Haitian population still living without electricity.”
USTDA Acting Director Enoh T. Ebong added, “This project has already helped Haiti vastly expand its microgrid operations, providing more citizens with access to reliable power and clean energy. We are confident that the innovation of U.S. technology will continue to make the decisive difference in Haiti and integrate microgrids in communities throughout the country.”
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