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Lights go on for the first time in Haitian town of Les Côteaux

Late evening on 10 September, the town of Les Côteaux in southern Haiti switched on its streetlights for the first time thanks to the support of a UNEP programme in the country.


In a celebratory event organised by UNEP’s partner, the US not-for-profit National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a mini-grid was switched on and the entire town illuminated by streetlights.


The event was attended by local communities who were thrilled with the developments, as well as UNEP’s partner the Solar Electric Light Fund. The lights form part of UNEP’s Haiti Sustainable Energy programme and have since become operational in other parts of Les Côteaux.


The mini-grid aims to provide sustainable access to electricity seven days a week through pre-paid metering systems, and increase economic development in three coastal towns in southern Haiti. Via a 23km line, the grid will also cover Roche-à-Bateau and Port-à-Piment, which are expected to be connected to the grid later this autumn. This is the first time the three towns will have access to reliable electricity.


The electricity is provided by 120kW of solar energy and two diesel generators (120kW and 250kW). Importantly, there will be no limiters on the power, allowing the communities to set up new small businesses which rely on energy - such as bakeries and convenience stores - without the risk of power outages or brownouts. Such small businesses would help generate much-needed local economic growth. The metering system allows consumers to purchase credit for electricity services in small quantities and as needed.


Construction of this innovative solar-diesel hybrid mini-grid has been ongoing since 2012 as part of UNEP's Sustainable Energy programme in Haiti, funded by the Government of Norway.


To find out more about UNEP’s activities in Haiti please click here.


More information on the Haiti Sustainable Energy programme can be found by clicking here or by downloading the Haiti Sustainable Energy brochure.


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