Press Release: 300 Haitian Homes Energised with Clean Energy
By Emma Best
300 households in rural Haiti have been equipped with Okra Solar’s innovative Mesh-Grid technology. The innovation was designed to address the financial and maintenance challenges of off-grid electrification. The Haiti-based Off-Grid Electricity Fund (OGEF), co-financed by the World Bank, provided USD 230,000 to local Haitian project developer, Alina’s Enèji, to deploy this project. This is the second deployment of Okra Mesh-Grids in Haiti. With 61% of Haitians currently without energy access, this project highlights the progressive work of ANARSE (the Energy regulatory authority in Haiti) in enabling modern technology to solve the ongoing issue of energy poverty.
Mesh-Grids have gone from concept to a fully commercialised technology in just four years. Now, Okra Solar’s specialised hardware and software is now being used to address the energy access struggle in Haiti, Nigeria, Cambodia and the Philippines. The company’s latest project in Dulagon, Haiti, is part of a phased scale-up that could potentially reach a further 4,700 households within the country – representing a positive leap toward achieving Haiti’s national electrification targets.
Without electricity, the community in Dulagon were reliant on wood and charcoal for cooking; women spent up to three hours per day collecting wood for stoves which have been linked with numerous medical complications due to their polluting fumes. Household air pollution is the fourth most serious health risk factor in Haiti; in 2016, Haiti Priorise, the Canadian financed research project found indoor pollution caused one in ten deaths within the country.
To kickstart the transition to clean energy, Alina Enèji provided families with two light bulbs and one fan, free of charge to every household being energised via Okra’s Mesh-Grid. Households can also purchase additional appliances, such as rice cookers and refrigerators as part of their energy package. Stakeholders in the Haitian energy sector are eagerly anticipating the results of this 300-household project as its success could uncap off-grid electrification efforts across the nation.
Photo courtesy andreas160578.