A smart-grid project combining PV generation and battery storage has been unveiled in Haiti. The project is the result of collaboration between the Biohaus Foundation and relief organization NPH Germany. The project will substantially reduce the nation’s reliance on diesel generators.
Approximately 30% of Haiti’s 11 million inhabitants have access to electricity. Together with the Biohaus Foundation, NPH Germany has provided a stable power supply, in the form of a hybrid smart-grid, to power all of its facilities in the Haitian capital city Port-au-Prince.
The lithium-ion batteries come from Berlin technology company Qinous, while the solar modules are imported from both Venezuela and Mexico. Inverters are provided by Bonfiglioli Germany, and measurement equipment is provided by Hanover based Solargy.
The project, which is the largest independent smart-grid in the Caribbean region, is already up and running. “With the new 450 kW facility, we will supply the entire power demand of all our facilities,” says NPH Germany CEO Heiko Seeger, “including food production, a car repair shop, a school and St. Damien Hospital, with 100% solar energy.”
The aid cooperative of NPH Germany and the U.S. based St. Luke Foundation, which employs 1800 Haitians, is set to save around €500,000 a year, and 2000 tonnes of CO2 through the smart grid, thanks to reduced consumption from diesel generators.
“What we are doing here is necessary to save the planet,” said project coordinator Willi Ernst of the Biohaus Foundation, speaking at the inauguration of the smart grid. “That we do it here is necessary, so that as many as possible follow the example. Only together can we do it.”
The idea for the creation of a smart-grid in Port-au-Prince first came about in 2010, as a result of the devastating earthquake which destroyed parts of the city’s infrastructure. Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse, who has been in office for seven months recently announced an extremely ambitious energy policy program. Within 24 months, the country is to be completely electrified using solar, and high import tariffs on PV products are to be removed.
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