Dulagon – Haiti | 2022.07.15 – 300 households in rural Haiti have been equipped with Okra Solar’s innovative Mesh-Grid technology. The innovation was designed to address the financial and maintenance challenges of off-grid electrification. The Haiti-based Off-Grid Electricity Fund (OGEF), co-financed by the World Bank, provided USD 230,000 to local Haitian project developer, Alina’s Enèji, to deploy this project. This is the second deployment of Okra Mesh-Grids in Haiti. With 61% of Haitians currently without energy access, this project highlights the progressive work of ANARSE (the Energy regulatory authority in Haiti) in enabling modern technology to solve the ongoing issue of energy poverty.
Mesh-Grids have gone from concept to a fully commercialised technology in just four years. Now, Okra Solar’s specialised hardware and software is now being used to address the energy access struggle in Haiti, Nigeria, Cambodia and the Philippines. The company’s latest project in Dulagon, Haiti, is part of a phased scale-up that could potentially reach a further 4,700 households within the country – representing a positive leap toward achieving Haiti’s national electrification targets.
Without electricity, the community in Dulagon were reliant on wood and charcoal for cooking; women spent up to three hours per day collecting wood for stoves which have been linked with numerous medical complications due to their polluting fumes. Household air pollution is the fourth most serious health risk factor in Haiti; in 2016, Haiti Priorise, the Canadian financed research project found indoor pollution caused one in ten deaths within the country.
To kickstart the transition to clean energy, Alina Enèji provided families with two light bulbs and one fan, free of charge to every household being energised via Okra’s Mesh-Grid. Households can also purchase additional appliances, such as rice cookers and refrigerators as part of their energy package. Stakeholders in the Haitian energy sector are eagerly anticipating the results of this 300-household project as its success could uncap off-grid electrification efforts across the nation.
Afnan Hannan, Co-Founder and CEO of Okra Solar, Commented:
“To achieve energy access for all, it’s time that we explore alternative technologies to overcome the challenges of energising rural communities. Millions of people in Haiti are living in dispersed communities where it’s not economically viable to extend the national electricity grids nor to deploy traditional centralised solutions like mini-grids because the cost of distribution infrastructure is simply too high.
Mesh-Grids are a fully decentralised technology that enables standalone solar to be deployed on rooftops and interconnected to provide energy to clusters of households in power sharing Mesh-Grids. This can be set up rapidly, in the hardest to reach areas and managed remotely with IoT. The decentralised approach makes the system more resilient to natural disasters and single points of failure, which allows for modular scalability. With 100% solar power, Mesh-Grids are accelerating the transition to clean and affordable energy for last-mile communities around the world.“
Driko Ducasse, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Alina’s, commented:
“We came to Haiti with 3 objectives, to increase the electrification of Haiti using clean and renewable sources of energy, to increase economic activity through the supply of a reliable source of energy and to reduce Haiti’s dependence on external sources of energy. With over 300 households now connected by Alina Eneji, Haitians are cooking cleaner, starting businesses and using less gas. Without strong partnerships, this would not be possible; therefore, we would like to give a special thanks to the support and cooperation of the Mayor of Dulagon, ANARSE, Okra Solar, and OGEF.”
About Okra Solar
Okra Solar’s mission is to facilitate sustainable energy access for last-mile communities around the globe. Developers have used okra Solar’s Mesh-Grid technology in Cambodia, the Philippines, Haiti and Nigeria to deploy clean and reliable power in remote communities using off-the-shelf solar panels and batteries that can be interconnected into scalable networks. Okra Solar’s SaaS platform also equips energy companies with remote monitoring, maintenance insights and mobile payments, so that operators can stay informed to prevent blackouts. Okra Solar’s work has been recognised by Forbes, TechCrunch and the Cleantech Forum for its potential to create lasting impact, and its investors include Schneider Electric and TepCo Power.
About Alina’s Enèji
Alina Enèji aims to provide a more reliable, clean, and affordable electricity alternative to Haitians through a decentralized model that better manages demand and enables sharing amongst users.
Emma Best | Partnership Officer
Afnan Hannan | Co-founder & CEO
All pictures included in the press release are available for download through the following link: