by Ian Muir
Last week, EKo Pwòp team-members Arthur Jacquiau-Chamski and Ian Muir spent six action-packed days in Les Anglais laying building blocks for the expansion of the organization’s existing 54-customer microgrid. Later this year, EarthSpark anticipates extensive research, planning, fundraising, and execution efforts to culminate in a new solarized microgrid serving over 400 homes and small businesses with affordable, reliable, and clean electricity.
On Sunday June 29th, Arthur, with the support of community leader, Jean-Noël Paget, held a meeting attended by Les Anglais residents and business-owners where he outlined next steps in the microgrid expansion process. He explained the importance of pre-subscription to the service, the different levels of service being offered, and EKo Pwòp’s imminent house-numbering and surveying campaigns.
Over the following five days, the team visited nearly 500 homes and businesses, providing each with a much-needed fixed address—literally putting them on the map. In parallel, with the support of Les Anglais locals Rosanne Jean-Jacques and Juline Joint, they began administering in-depth surveys to determine how residents currently light their homes and how they expect access to electricity to change their behavior, their pocketbooks, and, more simply, their lives. The results of these surveys will be used internally for knowledge-building and system planning but also in a forthcoming Kiva campaign which will raise funds to cover the costs of connecting each customer to the expanded microgrid.
The Les Anglais townspeople are excited to move away from expensive and polluting sources of light such as kerosene and candles. And, as always, we all very much appreciate any support you can provide in helping make this project a resounding success.