Monthly Archives: October 2011

IEEE / Sirona Haiti Rural Electric Project Report

SUMMARY

Between June and July of 2011 the Sirona Cares Foundation (SCF) and the Community Solutions Initiative (CSI) of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) deployed six pilot SunBlazer Solar based Battery Charging Stations and established six franchises designed to support the long term operation and maintenance of the units in the context of a sustainable business model. This is designed as a commercial endeavor that can be supported with debt and equity investment rather than on-going charity. Startup funding is being raised through charitable contributions, but unlike typical charitable contributions, the funds are put to work generating sustainable income for the unit operators and revenue for maintenance and support on an ongoing, rather than one-off, basis. The six pilot franchises were established in six different regions of Haiti and supply electricity to over 1,400 people. Two field technicians were trained to maintain the units over the long term and monitor business operations on a monthly basis. These field technicians are paid out of proceeds generated by the small businesses. The objectives of the Phase 1 Pilot were to demonstrate the viability and usability of this technology, an interest by local entrepreneurs in operating a franchise business and the interest of a local market. Michelle Lacourciere (SCF) made an unannounced site visit to each unit in late September 2011. This report will show that the objectives of the Phase 1 Pilot have been achieved and interest in this work has been generated at the top levels of the Haitian government and beyond.

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