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Off-grid solar to be used in Haiti relief efforts

Solar-powered equipment for water, lighting, and communications is being sent to Haiti as part of the reconstruction efforts following last week’s devastating earthquake.


Fort Pierce, Fla.-based manufacturer Sol on Tuesday said it shipped 15 of its solar streetlights to Haiti as part of an aid mission. With hospitals operating without power, the lighting can be used to extend the time that doctors can treat the wounded, company executives told WPTV.


Sol intends to donate another 100 of its streetlights, which have a small solar panel mounted above an LED lamp, but it has not yet connected with an organization with the space to carry the equipment.


Access to clean water is another high priority for relief workers in Haiti, which suffered a powerful aftershock on Wednesday. Panel manufacturer SolarWorld said that it is donating enough panels to power 10 water pumping stations operated by nonprofit Water Missions International.


The 10 water purification systems will provide clean water for as many as 175,000 people. “Fuel shortages in Haiti are causing major roadblocks in providing aid,” George Greene, vice president for international programs at Water Missions International, said in a statement.


The difficulty of getting power is a problem for cell phone communications, which have been working intermittently in Port-au-Prince. Dutch company Intivation earlier this week said that it is donating 1,000 solar-powered mobile phones meant for the Port-au-Prince area in Haiti. The phones, which have been offered by Caribbean carrier Digicel for over a year, have built-in solar panels for charging.


Meanwhile, Solar Ovens International is planning on shipping its solar ovens, insulated boxes with reflective aluminum panels that can be used instead of charcoal, President Paul Munsen tells MSNBC. The company, which is taking donations to purchase solar ovens for Haitians, said it is working with a relief organization to send 270,000 meals and solar ovens next week.


Source: CNET NEWS



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