President Bill Clinton last week announced four new commitments to provide solar energy to Haiti by Clinton Foundation partners.
The announcement came after a three-day trip to Haiti to visit project sites featuring solar energy installations. He was accompanied by senior executives of large energy corporations from around the world, including China, Israel, and Ireland, as well as directors of large foundations interested in supporting projects in the energy sector. The trip was co-hosted by David Crane, CEO of NRG Energy. Together, they toured sites in Haiti’s Central Plateau to view the progress of solar power installations funded by the $1 million commitment made through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) by NRG and their implementing partner, the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF).
“These projects all show the power solar energy has to transform the lives of thousands of Haitians,” said President Clinton. “They provide better opportunities for students to learn, entrepreneurs to create jobs, doctors to care for the sick, lower the cost of electricity and improve the environment. I am proud that my Foundation’s partners have committed to provide even more solar power to the people of Haiti, and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to see this work in action.”
Clinton Foundation partners announced four new commitments to provide solar energy to Haitians during these visits with President Clinton.
Trina Solar, working closely with NRG, has already donated solar power to support the Lashto Fish Farm and the Zamni Beni Orphanage. Now, through their donation of 69 kilowatts (approximately 300 panels), they will provide solar power to approximately 20 schools in the Central Plateau region of Haiti. This will allow students to use computers and other technologies, and the schools to hold adult literacy classes and vocational training programs at night.
“The impact of getting like minded government representatives and industry leaders from around the globe focused on a common problem is evident from this trip,” said Mark Kingsley, CCO of Trina Solar. “We remain committed to supporting these important efforts. It is not only important to make a great product, but to be a good company.”
Matt Petersen, Global Green USA’s President and CEO, announced a partnership with the SunPower Foundation to deliver 100 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic to help power schools and other community facilities in Haiti. Global Green’s local partners, including the Ciné Institute, the Artists for Peace and Justice school in Port-au-Prince, Habitat For Humanity, and Heifer International, will receive solar power to provide clean energy for their projects. The Clinton Foundation will continue to work with Global Green to identify additional partners and projects in Haiti in the coming weeks.
“Our commitment to provide solar power to Haiti will empower local schools and other community facilities, and give students a great place to study and learn while reducing dependency on expensive diesel power and polluting fossil fuels,” said Petersen. “I look forward to partnering with the Clinton Foundation as we grow and identify new opportunities to harness the power of the sun by expanding the use of solar power in Haiti.”
Jonathan Pickering, President of the America’s Region, JA Solar announced that JA Solar will donate 94 kilowatts of solar panels (approximately 400 panels) to the Caribbean Harvest Foundation, a non-profit organization aimed at creating a commercial fishing industry for Haiti. These panels will be installed at the Caribbean Harvest fish hatchery in Croix des Bouquets, and will more than double their current solar capacity, increasing the hatchery’s capacity to harvest fish and create new jobs.
Finally, Greif, in addition to providing a $125,000 grant to the pediatric wing of the new Partners in Health Mirebalais Hospital, will donate two fully equipped General Electric Habihut units that utilize zeeweed ultra filtration systems powered by integrated solar panels. These units will be able to generate all of their own power needed for water filtration purposes so they are completely self contained units. The Clinton Foundation will work with Greif to place these units in underserved communities in need of both solar power and clean water. These units create enough power to also serve as cell-phone charging stations, creating local entrepreneurship by providing individuals the ability to sell water and electricity. The site visits included the Boucan Carré Health Center, the first clinic to be solarized by SELF; the Lashto Fish Farm, a new extension of the fish hatchery that is now solar powered thanks to NRG Energy and SELF; the Bon Berger De Doman School, a Digicel-funded school with solar power; and finally the new Partners in Health Mirebalais teaching hospital. This hospital, when completed, will have the largest solar installation in the country and will operate almost entirely on solar power.
These projects reflect the Clinton Foundation’s longstanding commitment to building Haiti’s green energy structure. The Foundation has worked with a variety of green technology organizations in Haiti, including NRG and SELF, to address Haiti’s high energy costs, low electrification rates, and high dependency on fossil fuels. Clinton Foundation partners are working on low-cost clean energy alternatives, creating recycling systems to help manage Haiti’s waste, and developing new methods for cooking through effective cook stoves and recycled briquettes to replace charcoal.