Developing Solar and Wind-based Power Microgrids in Haiti

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As part of our mission to provide energy poor communities in Haiti with affordable, reliable power, we founded Sigora Haiti, a sustainable enterprise-based model designed to develop solar- and wind-based microgrids.  We’re starting with a pilot project in Môle Saint-Nicolas, costing $2M, which will electrify 5,000 people in phase 1, with phase 2 adding another 25,000.

“Haiti’s energy needs are simply unmet, and the statistics are startling,” says Bindea.  “Seventy-five percent of the population is not on the power grid.  Fifty percent of utility energy is lost to theft.  The energy consumed is largely fossil fuel.  Yet despite what appears to be a dire scenario, the country has abundant energy resources in the form of solar and wind power, and we plan to harness them.”

Sigora Solar launched Sigora Haiti in March 2015 and opened an office in Port-au-Prince.  To date, we’ve hired five full-time Haitian employees, acquired 2.5 acres of land for photo-voltaic panels, and leased 195 acres for wind generation.  We also signed a fifty-year power supplier contract with Mole St. Nicholas, secured partnerships with key vendors, and developed the “Sigora Meter.”  This proprietary prepaid energy metering technology offers built-in demand control, as well as community wide emergency alert and energy monitoring.

“We’ve been successful marketing solar power to home and business owners in our local markets for several years,” says Bindea.  “But because we’re social entrepreneurs, our mission extends beyond our local markets.”

Our projections for Sigora Haiti are ambitious.  We aim to provide 3,200kW of electricity to 136,000 people by year two and create 233 jobs in the process.  By year nine, Bindea envisions generating 116,000kW of electricity for nearly 2 million people and creating nearly 6,000 jobs in the process.  We still needs to raise $1.3M from investors to fund its pilot project.

“Earning a place on this year’s Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest growing companies validates our business model,” says Bindea.  “We can make money providing customers with solar energy while having a positive impact on the environment.  At the same time, however, the culture at Sigora is not just about generating electricity.  We’re focused on making the world a better place to live, and Haiti is a perfect place to do just that.”

View the article on Inc 5000.

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