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CARILEC switches Haiti school on to solar power as a sustainable electricity solution

Aerial view of solar PV installation on the Ecole Nationale Notre Dame De Lourdes

 

Solar energy is clean, sustainable and for a country experiencing challenges in providing its population of ten million with electricity, it can help to solve Haiti’s energy problem.

On August 23, 2018 the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) with logistical support from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) completed the installation of a solar photovoltaic power system on the Ecole Nationale Notre Dame De Lourdes, a convent and elementary school in Grand Anse, Jeremie, Haiti.

Cognizant of the importance of promoting sustainable renewable energy solutions and the challenges facing Haiti in the aftermath of various natural disasters which have severely impacted it, the objectives of the CARILEC-CDEMA Collaboration for the Haiti School Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Project are to assist in the restoration and improvement of electricity services for Haiti’s Education Institutions; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; provide a  long-term hedge against future electric rate volatility and an opportunity to save money; and present teachers and students with a number of educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Following the devastation caused by the 2010 earthquake CARILEC felt impelled to contribute to the restoration of Haiti’s electric power network and established a fund to assist in these efforts. With the generous support of its members who have made contributions to the fund, CARILEC has been able to provide Haiti with support over the last few years.  The conceptualization of this project represents a culmination of CARILEC’s efforts to use the remainder of the fund to do something meaningful and measureable in Haiti. CARILEC’s execution of this project was financed by the fund.

The project was coordinated by Mr. Andrew Thorington, Technical Services Manager at the CARILEC Secretariat with Dr. Gary Jackson serving as the consultant. Under the project a 13 kW capacity system consisting of 3x8 kW inverters, 42 x 310W solar photovoltaic panels, and an energy storage system (24 lead acid batteries) with a capacity of 1092 AHs (or 10 hours) at 48V was installed at the Ecole Nationale Notre Dame De Lourdes. The system was designed and installed as a standalone system with the ability to manually switch to the national grid. It is worth noting that installation works were carried out by a local contractor and his team.

Haiti which is one of the poorest countries in the world and lacks a viable energy source for the production of electric power is no stranger to solar energy solutions. Given the high cost of electricity in Haiti this project will not only save the school thousands of dollars annually but will guarantee that the nuns and students have reliable access to energy whilst simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Standing in front of the completed standalone system

Contractors working on the installation of the system

 

 

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