(Arlington, VA) — Today, NRECA International, Ltd. welcomed Haiti President Michel Martelly, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Pamela White and General John F. Kelly, Commander of the U.S. Southern Command, on a tour of the 10-MW plant supplying power for the Pilot Project for Sustainable Electricity Distribution (PPSELD) in Caracol, Haiti.
Funded by U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented by NRECA International, the PPSELD is a three-year undertaking to establish a self-sustaining generation-distribution utility that is expected to expand service to include nearby communities. PPSELD consumers, who first began receiving electricity in 2013, are the only electric consumers in Haiti receiving reliable 24/7 electric power.
For the past year, NRECA International staff and cooperative volunteers have been building the distribution system and training employees to run the power plant and distribution system. Now, more than 1,260 households have been electrified.
Reliable electricity in this region of the country will empower local entrepreneurs and community leaders to improve their communities and pave the way for new technology and economic growth.
The power plant, which has been operational since July 2012, is the sole power supplier for the Caracol complex—an industrial park built after the 2010 earthquake as part of an effort to create new jobs in underserved areas outside of Port-au-Prince. The Caracol complex was a cooperative effort among the Inter-American Development Bank and the Haitian and U.S. governments. Today it employs nearly 2,000 people with those numbers expected to rise in the coming years.
NRECA International projects and programs have created more than 250 successful rural electric enterprises in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Yemen. The rural electric cooperatives that NRECA has formed and supported now serve more than 110 million rural beneficiaries in more than 40 countries. NRECA International is an affiliate of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.