For some perspective, since late 2012, EarthSpark International, with its local affiliate, EKo Pwòp, has provided affordable electricity to a small but diverse group of residents in Les Anglais. EarthSpark and EKo Pwòp, which stands for Elektrisite Kominote Pwòp (“clean community electricity” in Haitian Creole), have had tremendous success with this pilot microgrid. With access to reliable electricity, eligible households switched from smoky kerosene lamps to efficient light bulbs which are safer and cheaper to operate, while offering much higher quality light.
Then in late 2013, the system’s success resulted in a grant from USAID for the expansion of microgrid coverage to the entire Les Anglais downtown area and support for the electrification of local agricultural processing. It was clear that such a system would require a sizeable new generation source mated with new distribution infrastructure that could bring power to customers farther afield. So the EarthSpark team set out to design a system that would generate, store, and deliver electricity to the townspeople in an affordable, reliable, and sustainable manner.
Start-up of the expanded grid is scheduled for early February, with full ramp-up in mid-March. And the entire EarthSpark team is excited to share updates with our benefactors as these milestones approach and beyond. We are exceptionally grateful for all the support we’ve received—financial, moral, and logistical. And we hope you’ll remain engaged as we work to make energy poverty a thing of the past in Haiti.