October 24, 2017: Sigora Haiti’s Môle-Saint-Nicolas microgrid, which provides 24/7 power to 5,000 people in a previously un-electrified region of northwest Haiti, was awarded “Best Microgrid Project” at the 9th Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF), the largest annual gathering of the Caribbean renewable energy market that took place in Miami from the 18th to the 20th October, 2017. The CREF awards, a collaboration between New Energy Events and Rocky Mountain Institute – Carbon War Room, recognize the most innovative and financially compelling renewable energy projects in the region, many of which are the first of their kind either on their island or in the wider Caribbean.
“What we set out to do in Haiti is prove that microgrids represent excellent value for both customers and investors alike.” explains Andy Bindea, CEO of Sigora International, the U.S.A. based parent company of Sigora Haiti.
Sigora Haiti connected its first customer in December 2015, and in just over one year scaled to 1,000 connections, reaching 5,000 residents with reliable and affordable 24/7 power – a rarity in a country where grid-connected citizens receive only 5-9 hours of power a day. Sigora deploys its smart-grid technology in off-grid, underserved communities and leverages specialized hardware, cloud-managed software, and simple pre-payment solutions to create a long-term, sustainable solution to the challenge of energy access.
“[Sigora’s] is a model that other Caribbean islands can learn from because they all face similar challenges” explained Julie Taylor, Editorial Director for New Energy Events, in an interview with Haitian news outlet Le Nouvelliste on Thursday, “this project will help open the region to sustainable investment.”
“Caribbean nations are at the forefront of the energy revolution, and Haiti is poised to become a leader in this regard” says Andy. “Expanding energy access at scale requires political will, technological innovation, and private sector financing. Haiti’s President, Jovenel Moise, has made electrification a national priority, and we’re proving a bankable model for rural electrification in Môle. The next step is for capital to be brought into the sector to scale, and in this regard the CREF Awards are instrumental in showcasing the types of commercially viable projects that are attractive to investors.”
In February of this year, the European Commission’s newly launched electrification financing initiative, ElectriFI, made its first investment in Sigora Haiti, a US$2.5 million deal towards Sigora’s Phase One expansion, which when complete will connect 27,000 accounts and reach 135,000 residents with electricity.
“We are honored to receive this award as we continue our efforts to expand our network and provide reliable 24/7 electricity to our customers in the northwest and beyond” says Drew Lebowitz, Vice President of Operations based in Haiti. “Our achievements are the result of the hard work of the young men and women of our team, 95% of whom are Haitian. Their commitment to electrifying Haiti is really what makes this project successful.”
Award recipients were chosen by the CREF Project Award advisory group comprising Dr. Cletus Bertin, CEO of CARILEC, Dr. Devon Gardner, Programme Director of Energy at CARICOM, Doug Hewson, Managing Partner at Portland Private Equity, Nils Janson, Executive Vice President of Castalia, Adam Carter, Managing Director at CIBC FirstCaribbean, and Chris Burgess, Director of Projects at Carbon War Room – Rocky Mountain Institute.
About Sigora Haiti S.A.
Founded in 2015, Sigora Haiti started with a dream of electrifying a clinic on the island nation and has grown into a full-scale green utility project. The company has an exclusive concession to a 200,000 person coverage area in northwest Haiti, and aims to power & empower 2.5 million Haitians over the next 10 years with clean, reliable, and fairly priced electricity. Sigora Haiti is a legally incorporated for-profit socially conscious and environmentally responsible Haitian Corporation with offices in Môle-St-Nicolas, Jean Rabel, and Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. For more information visit: www.sigorahaiti.co
About Sigora International Inc.
Founded in 2016, Sigora International is a U.S. based provider of utility management solutions engineered specifically for frontier markets. For both established urban grid utilities and rural micro-grid developers, Sigora’s platform transforms energy access for underserved markets into bankable business. Sigora International is a winner of the 2017 Microsoft Affordable Access Initiative, recognizing innovators bringing energy and internet connectivity to the last mile. Sigora International’s labs are located in San Leandro, California. For more information visit: www.sigora.co
Natasha Skreslet, Director of Impact & Communications
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