Deploying Solar Energy During a Power Vacuum in Haiti

By Afnan Hannan
August 05, 2021
35 rural households in Haiti quietly received 24/7 renewable energy during a national crisis.

Just over 3 weeks ago, the news made headlines in Haiti: the Haitian president had been assassinated. The already tense situation escalated quickly and efforts towards achieving 100% energy access, in a country where more than half of the population remain unelectrified, were put at risk again.

This tragic event coincided with the arrival of our Service Delivery Team lead, Otteh Edubio, who had plans to meet with local partners, Alina Eneji and Palmis Enèji, before deploying Haiti’s first mesh-grid.

Despite the chaos, the people of the quaint town of Marchand Dessalines, situated North of Port Au Prince, were not discouraged by the tense situation. Rather, they were excited about the prospect of being connected to 24/7 energy for the first time in their lives.

The team from Palmis Enèji and Otteh Edubio

Otteh worked closely with the team from Alina Eneji + Palmis Enèji to install the first systems and then promptly coordinated his safe passage out. As Otteh inconspicuously rode a bus to Port Au Prince before flying out of Haiti, we watched closely via our Harvest platform as Alina Eneji & Palmis Enèji electrified households at breakneck speeds. After only a brief training session, a team of four installers managed to achieve an installation rate of 10 households/day.

Amidst a political crisis, 35 households were quietly connected to 24/7 renewable energy in what we believe is a new era for last-mile energy access in Haiti.

Though short, this story showcases the grit, realism and sense of adventure required to bring #PowerToThePeople.

Bringing energy to the world can be done, and it will be done – rain, shine, or a power vacuum.

Stay tuned for the next step: scale-up!

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Affy has a simple vision: to get energy access to everyone in the world as fast as possible. After working in the tech industry in Australia, he saw an opportunity to break down the technological barriers to global energy access by leveraging IoT and A.I. He’s since been named Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia and won multiple other awards for catalysing disruptive social impact with Okra.

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