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PICO PV PRODUCTS FOR HAITI WITH SOLARWAVE
Solarwave is a Dominican enterprise owned by Lic. Raquel Guzman, a female entrepreneur. Lic. Guzman has a degree in accounting and over a decade in the solar business, she started Solarwave in 2015. Solarwave is located in the province of Puerto Plata just three hours from the border towns of Dajabon, Dominican Republic and Ouanaminthe, Haiti. They have a staff member, Nelly Martinez, who is of Haitian decent and bilingual in Spanish and Haitian Creole.
Incase you didn't know, Pico PV Products are small plug & play solar products. Ranging from solar lanterns with one LED lamp and/or an option of a cell charger to small solar home systems with several lights, a cell charger and other small appliances. These products retail for $10 to $200.
These products will be distributed through Haitian women entrepreneurs who receive basic training and purchase the products from Solarwave. The women in turn distribute the product in Haiti to their community. Importation into Haiti is extremely complicated, time consuming and risky. Which is why we've entrusted a Dominican enterprise with many years of experience with reliable and efficient importation of solar products into the Dominican Republic. As well as exporting solar products into Haiti through distributors.
This project plans to support Raquel Guzman as an entrepreneur to help her build the delivery capacity of Solarwave into Haiti. The Haitian people are in great need of basic lighting and communications. The country is a very fragile state and there is no electrical service for seven out of the ten million inhabitants. Those who are connected to an electrical utility experience frequent power outages. The project also provides the Haitian women entrepreneurs with experience, income, and a clean source of energy. The lanterns provided meet Lighting Global quality standards, portable, and long-lasting. Making it the ultimate tool for Haitian homes that purchase kerosene, candles, batteries, and pay to charge their cell phones.
EAF will provide working capital and technical support to advance this project. The goal is to distribute thousands of Pico PV Product in Haiti with Solarwave, to have Haitians make their First Access Solar Transition!
Bella Vista School
The Dominican government decided to build many new public schools throughout the country, the rural community of Bella Vista was fortunate to be selected. This beautiful new school opened in 2014 to serve 200 students, from kindergarten up through the eighth grade. About 10% of the students served are of Haitian decent.
The community of Bella Vista holds a unique place in the history of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology globally. It was here in April 1984 that Richard Hansen, President of EAF, introduced a small solar PV system combined with a micro-finance payment plan. This innovation helped create a worldwide movement to advance solar home systems (SHS) with micro-finance. Local youths from Bella Vista learned about solar and became employed as solar technicians. Bella Vista is where Dr. Harish Hande, one of EAF's directors visited as a graduate student from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a field visit that inspired him to launch SELCO India a world renowned solar company that has electrified over 400,000 households in India. So the Bella Vista school project is special to EAF because this is connected with our solar roots!
After decades, the electric utility lines finally reached Bella Vista, however due to frequent power outages throughout the Dominican Republic and in Bella Vista, school activities lack consistent access to electricity. This project will install a 4kW PV system. The system will provide a source of back-up power for priority loads when the utility power is out and it will lower electrical consumption from the utility grid when the power is on. In addition to providing a valuable clean energy system, the project will advance technical education. As the Dominican Republic builds new schools, in today's competitive world there needs to be technical education, including training in information technology and energy technology. The project will be an ongoing demonstration of PV technology to power computers and other needs, while also incorporating educational presentations for the students.
A University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) student team from the Masters in Solar Energy Engineering program is also involved with the Bella Vista school project. This includes the opportunity for the UML students to participate in the installation as part of a one-week service learning activity in Bella Vista. This collaboration offers educational benefits for the UML students, the local technicians, and the Bella Vista students. This project engages two local Dominican enterprises; Solarwave for logistics, and Energylight for the technical installation. Using local enterprises ensures the long term sustainability of the system and project.
The 4kW PV system was successfully installed and you can view some photos below.
Mariposa DR Foundation
In 2014 EAF supported the installation of a 10kW hybrid PV system at the Mariposa Center for Girls in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. The Mariposa DR Foundation, provides educational and empowerment activities for Dominican and Haitian girls to create sustainable solutions to end generational poverty. Giving them the knowledge and resources to have a bright and occupied future.
The PV system is an essential investment in support of their programs by reducing their monthly expenses and providing back-up power. The PV system has 44 solar PV modules and two inverters that are interconnected with the electrical grid. One inverter is a 5kW Solectria inverter that receives electricity from 24 solar modules and injects this electricity into the electrical grid. The other 20 solar modules charge a bank of batteries that is connected to an Outback hybrid inverter that can draw from the batteries to provide back-up power for priority loads during power outages or it can inject electricity into the electrical.
This PV system has been able to completely eliminate the electrical bills of the center. In 2015 they received a check for almost $200 from the electric company for excess electricity injected into the electrical grid. With a one time investment in a solar PV system the Mariposa DR Foundation no longer needs to raise money each month to pay for the electrical bill!