National Solar Training Center

Since the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, of the number of photovoltaic (PV) installations in that country have grown tremendously—delivering  clean, sustainable power that facilitates education, healthcare, commerce, and improved food security. The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) has been one of the leaders in this movement.  Initially, it brought solar power to hospitals, clinics, and schools in Haiti.  Its portfolio has since expanded to include micro-enterprise centers, micro-grids and a national vaccine refrigeration program powered by PV.  In addition to SELF, other NGO’s and commercial enterprises are installing solar systems in Haiti.  What has been missing in the development of this new solar infrastructure is a vocational training program that produces highly skilled solar technicians. 

Identifying this need, SELF has created Haiti’s National Solar Training Center (NSTC) whose home resides at Haiti Tec in Port-au-Prince. SELF has developed all of the curriculum, and Haiti Tec provides the campus and instructors.  Together, the organizations prepare students for jobs that will maintain their nation’s new PV infrastructure and further enhance the Haitian economy.

The National Solar Training Center offers a one-year program as well as shorter specialty courses to its students.  In addition, we have created  “spin-off” courses for other vocational schools. Entering students at Haiti Tec will already have had a year of electrical training or equivalent technical experience. There is a strong emphasis on hands-on learning, which prepares program graduates for immediate employment, without having to go through long apprenticeships or post-graduate, on-the-job training. SELF recently received a report on some of the year-one graduates that confirms the program’s success: Seven graduates are currently working in the PV Industry.  Two of the female students have formed their own solar company and are installing small systems around Port-au-Prince.  One of the Haiti Tec instructors hired a couple of the first-year graduates to work with him on PV projects at the Swiss Embassy.  SELF hired graduates to work on a Micro-grid project in 2019. - Powering a brighter 21st century.

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Since 1990, SELF has completed projects in more than 25 countries and pioneered unique applications of solar power such as for drip irrigation in Benin, health care in Haiti, telemedicine in the Amazon rain forest, online learning in South Africa and microenterprise development in Nigeria.

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