NRG And Clinton Initiative Brings Solar To Haiti

Since an earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti in 2010, many non-government organisations and companies have stepped in to rebuild in different ways. A deal between NRG Energy and the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) – founded by former U.S. President Bill Clinton – is playing a part in helping to build a clean energy future for Haiti by installing solar power systems at several sites on the island.
  
Two solar projects have been completed under NRG’s $1 million "The Sun Lights the Way: Brightening Boucan Carré" commitment, carried out under the umbrella of CGI. 
 
These projects involve another non-profit: the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), which designs and implements solar energy solutions in developing countries. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has also pledged $500,000 to the solar projects.
  
Bill Clinton and NRG CEO David Crane toured the completed sites; a completed solar PV system at the Lashto Fish Farm and one at  Bon Berger du Domond School, built with funding from the Digicel Foundation. 
  
The fish hatchery, operated by Caribbean Harvest, totals 14.5 kilowatt capacity and uses a deep cycle battery system to provide constant power under normal weather conditions. 
  
The two then moved on to the Bon Berger du Domond School, which will serve as an example of the potential solar technology holds for many Haitian schools. The school system consists of 12 PV panels totalling 2.76kW capacity and a backup battery system to power lights, computers and an electric piano; enabling the school to teach adult literacy classes and serve as a community centre at night.
 
"NRG’s commitment in Haiti’s Central Plateau demonstrates the positive effects solar power installations can have on a community," said Mr. Clinton. “I am proud that my Foundation has partnered with NRG on this project, which works with Haitian schools, farms and businesses to make a real difference in the lives of Boucan Carré residents in an environmentally friendly manner.”
 
Ultimately, NRG hopes that its partnership with CGI will yield a variety of completed solar projects including: two fish farms, 20 schools, a drip irrigation system for farming and two micro enterprise centres that support small Haitian businesses.
 
Crane says that solar makes sense for Haiti, due to exorbitant energy costs. 
 
"Solar power makes absolutely perfect sense in a country that suffers from low electrification rates, high dependency on fossil fuels and high supply prices. As the largest solar developer in the U.S., NRG is proud to bring our industry leadership and expertise to Haiti."