A World Bank-supported investment fund is starting to bring electricity to parts of rural Haiti.
The fund, which was created by the Haitian government in 2019, recently provided $230,000 in debt financing and grants to help expand off-grid energy to homes that currently lack electricity, according to an announcement today by impact-investing firm Bamboo Capital Partners, which co-manages the fund.
The Off Grid Electricity Fund invests in debt and equity and provides grants and financing to companies that provide electricity to rural areas, including solar and mini-grid services. Haiti’s goal for the fund is to connect 200,000 homes within 10 years, according to the announcement. Across the small country, only about a third of homes have access to electricity, including an estimated 5% of those in remote areas.
For the current funding project, the fund is backing Alina Enèji, a startup that is piloting a mesh-grid service in conjunction with another firm, Okra Solar, for 35 houses. The funding will allow the project to expand to 300 homes and small businesses.
“The pilot hopes to demonstrate that mesh grids can be deployed much faster than other infrastructure solutions in rural areas, require less grant funding, therefore enabling more connections and are capable of providing services people need at an affordable price,” the announcement read. “OGEF estimates more than 500,000 households could be connected throughout Haiti using a similar model.”