March 2012: President Clinton visits SELF’s solar installations in Haiti

We’re delighted to share with you the latest in our efforts to help rebuild Haiti!

In 2010, NRG Energy, Inc. announced a partnership with SELF to fulfill its $1M commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to implement solar energy systems in Haiti to help revitalize communities in Boucan Carré, an impoverished region located in Haiti’s central plateau. This initiative will provide power for a Solar Market Garden, two fish farms, 21 schools, and two microenterprise centers. In January 2011, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund announced an additional $500K grant in support of this initiative.

We’re excited to report that the installations at the first school and fish farm have been completed, and were toured last week by President Bill Clinton, Bob Freling, our executive director, and David Crane, CEO of NRG.

At the Bon Berger du Domond School, we installed a 2.7 kW solar system (12 solar panels) to power lights for adult literacy classes and computers to facilitate Internet-based learning programs. The school doubles as a community center at night, so the entire community now has access to the resources it offers.

The Lashto Fish Farm is not only helping to deliver fresh fish to the people of the region, it is also providing local jobs and economic development. We installed a 14.5 kW solar system (63 panels) that provides 24/7 power to aerate the three fish tanks that can now support up to 20,000 tilapia fish. Individual fishermen invest in and own about 2,000 tilapia, and Caribbean Harvest, the site’s operator, estimates that each fisherman can sell his or her portion for about $2.40/per pound, making a profit of about $1 per fish. About 90,000 fish can be produced annually.

We’re working hard to implement the remaining systems by the end of August – stay tuned for more details!

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