Solar Project Phase I Completed: June 2018
Sometimes we take the little things for granted…like electricity! In a country where 80% of the homes still don’t have electricity, Haiti is a place where power – or lack thereof – can make a huge difference in life and ministry.
HCO has been blessed to have a very large diesel generator to power the campus in Peredo, as well as a couple of smaller generators for back up. As our campus has grown, with apartments, dorms, a kitchen, and a medical facility all in need of power to provide ministry opportunities, the amount of and need for power has grown as well.
Over the years, we have explored a variety of options for how to most effectively, efficiently, and economically generate enough power to meet all of the Peredo campus needs. Because diesel prices are nearly always high, generator power is expensive. We’ve been researching solar power and what it would take to install a system that would harness the power of the sun, which is very plentiful in Haiti!
God finally opened doors for us to begin using solar power, and donors were generous to provide initial funds. Because this is such a large project – and because we cannot install solar power for the hospital until Phase II construction is complete – God made it possible for us to install solar in two smaller phases, rather than in one larger project. This Phase I solar system allows us to begin saving money now and begin providing more consistent power to part of our campus right away.
It’s truly been a group effort! First, we had a great group of engineering students from Trine University visit us in Haiti, research all the details, and design the system. Earlier this year, our new Peredo Campus Manager, Marcus Corn, started the installation process in earnest with the help of Travis Knipple from F1 Engineering, based in Jacmel. In May, Marcus, Travis, and the F1 Team installed solar panels, batteries, inverters, and the other necessary equipment to power the apartments, dorms, and kitchen. The Phase I system now provides 7.5 KW of power for this part of campus. When we don’t have enough sun, the existing generator will power the batteries so that power is still generated.
Not only do the new solar panels provide clean energy, but a significant cost savings to the mission by not running the large generator as much. With the cost of diesel always on the rise, we are so thankful to save the additional funds we’ve been spending on diesel each month. The system also provides power throughout the day which allows our staff to accomplish more for the Kingdom.
Our goal remains to provide solar power for our entire campus. As we finish the second phase of the hospital, we plan to install a similar system just to run that facility. We need to raise an additional $35,000 to take this next step!
If you’d like to know more or give toward Phase II of the solar project, contact Cameron.