NRG Energy, Inc.’s philanthropy program – NRG Global Giving – joined forces with Haitian solar company DigitalKap to unveil two newly installed rooftop solar arrays at Haitian non-profits Les Centres GHESKIO (GHESKIO) in Port au Prince and Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) in Cap-Haïtien. Both organizations received systems that total 20kW. The respective systems, made up of nearly 120 photovoltaic panels, will generate 100% of the electricity usage for SOIL’s operations and 70% of the electricity usage for GHESKIO’s Family Nutrition Center, in the form of clean, renewable electricity from the sun.
GHESKIO is an outstanding example of community-based health care. Developed in response to the AIDS epidemic that began in the 1980’s, GHESKIO’s services have expanded to meet the health care needs of Haiti’s most vulnerable. “We have huge needs for electrical power. We have a 400 KW power generator running all day to support the entire complex. However, it reached its limits and the new Family Nutrition Center could not be supplied by the existing power generator, this is why the 20 KW solar installation NRG donated is important,” said Dr. Jean William Pape, MD, Director, GHESKIO.
SOIL works to promote use of ecological sanitation (EcoSan), a process by which human wastes are converted into valuable compost. “SOIL is incredibly grateful for the beautiful solar panels that power our office and compost site in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti. The addition of sustainable solar power has truly transformed our space – we no longer work alongside the loud buzzing of our generator and we do not fret when city power is irregular. The SOIL team can work in a consistently functional, beautiful, and environmentally friendly space. We cannot thank NRG enough for their support – we appreciate it every day!” said Molly Case, SOIL’s Deputy Development Director.
The rooftop solar arrays were funded by NRG Global Giving, designed by DigitalKap and installed by an all Haitian crew that had worked closely with NRG’s technical teams on past installations so that both organizations could benefit from a sharing of best practices and knowledge transfer.
“We have evolved NRG’s philosophy on giving to go beyond charitable donations, which can hinder local businesses ability to compete,” said Jennifer Brunelle, NRG’s Director of Global Giving. “It is critical that our work is sustainable for the long-term, so we chose to partner with an all Haitian company, which will help stimulate the Haitian economy by developing employable skills and creating local jobs. This work will help families in Haiti for years to come.”
Image credit: By Port-au-princien – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32231402