If you’ve been following ASI for about a year, you’ve known that we have been in the process of planning

We were able to raise over $13,000 at Ride Solar!

a solar project in Haiti on a newly built school. After a successful bike event in the fall (Ride Solar), we were able to take the $13,500 that we raised and begin the logistical planning with Messiah College students. The Collaboratory, a center at Messiah, enables students to partner with local and global organizations to carry out projects ranging from hand crank wheelchairs to solar panel installations. So far I’ve been thoroughly impressed with all of the students that I’ve been working with; they are the ones doing the research about sourcing batteries in Haiti, using other projects in the country as a model and creating an awareness of culutural considerations during our time in the country.

I will be representing the company during two trips to Haiti in the next six months. The first trip will be an exploratory trip where we will visit the school, look at battery suppliers, consider locals who can help with the project, identify an exact list of materials and thoroughly consider any obstacles or logistical concerns when we arrive on site to perform the installation in May. Trevor Smith ’12 and Liam Tanis ’08 will be the other team members during this initial trip.

This is the most recent picture of the school that we have on file. The solar installation will go on the roof.

Haiti is no stranger to outside aide; in fact, before the earthquake hit in January of 2010, the country having being identified as one of the poorest in the world was home to every type of service provider that could be imagined because of years of corruption and pervasive poverty. After the earthquake hit, circumstances went from bad to worse. Our hope is that through an alliance with Partners in Development, a non-profit working in Haiti for the last 15 years, we can bring solar energy to a building that will enable students to safely study in the evenings, charge cell phones, serve as a make shift clinic, power fans to deter mosquitoes (many carry Malaria) and create a functional place for people to gather.

The system will likely be a 2 kW PV battery storage unit with the inverters and charge controllers mounted on the inside of the building. Exact components will be determined based on the site assessment. The dates for our preliminary trip are January 2-9.

We will continue to keep you updated as our project progresses. Thank you to all that have supported us in this endeavor.