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Arlington, VA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and USA Healthcare Alliance (USAHA) launched a new initiative to expand export opportunities for…
Arlington, VA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency announced a call for initial proposals as part of its Global Partnership for Climate-Smart Infrastructure…
Arlington, VA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency issued its latest project resource guide for U.S. industry, highlighting more than $1.8 billion in…
Arlington, VA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency initiated a multi-year training initiative to support quality infrastructure planning in Jamaica. Under its Global…
Bogotá, Colombia – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency announced the renewal of its partnership with Colombia’s National Agency for Public Procurement, Colombia Compra…
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Nearly three-quarters of Haiti’s 10 million citizens lack access to reliable electricity. A primary cause is the nation’s limited and unreliable power grid, which forces many small towns to seek their own solutions in order to provide power to local households, schools and the nation’s growing economic sectors. Through a partnership with Washington, DC-based nonprofit EarthSpark International, USTDA is helping plan and deliver clean microgrid solutions in communities across Haiti.
In 2012, EarthSpark began operating a community microgrid in the southwestern Haitian town of Les Anglais, designing and piloting smart meters the organization would eventually spin out into SparkMeter, an independent technology company. In 2015 the group expanded service and built a solar array with battery storage as the primary source of power. The tiny town was soon enjoying some of the best power quality in the country. To replicate this success across Haiti, EarthSpark turned to USTDA for assistance, and the Agency responded by funding a nationwide assessment of the solar-powered microgrid potential in 89 rural Haitian towns. This process also evaluated essential factors including economic activity, electricity demand and infrastructure requirements.
The study, conducted with EarthSpark’s Haitian-affiliated company, Enèji Pwòp, as well as local universities and a think tank, led to the 2019 implementation of a new solar-powered microgrid in the southwestern town of Tiburon, where 500 homes and businesses now have access to clean, reliable electricity. In addition, the deployment of SparkMeter’s advanced equipment has also enabled greater energy efficiency and stronger resilience in the event of severe hurricanes.
Tiburon is now one of a small handful of communities in Haiti with reliable 24-hour electricity. And EarthSpark now has plans to dramatically scale up its microgrids in Haiti to 24 smart, solar-powered grids in the next four years, to be financed in part by a $9.9 million commitment from the Green Climate Fund.
“Microgrids hold enormous potential to quickly bring electricity to communities across rural Haiti,” said Allison Archambault, President at EarthSpark International. “With local and national government support as well as international cooperation, the launch of the Tiburon grid is a success story for multi-sector partnerships building a market that can scale-up to sustainably electrify the 70 percent of the Haitian population still living without electricity.”
USTDA’s Acting Director Enoh T. Ebong added: “This project has already helped Haiti vastly expand its microgrid operations, providing more citizens with access to reliable power and clean energy. We are confident that the innovation of U.S. technology will continue to make the decisive difference in Haiti and integrate microgrids in communities throughout the country.”
Colombia’s ports are essential to South American and global trade. By partnering with USTDA for more than two decades, Colombia has successfully planned and implemented new procedures and investments that have increased port security and efficiency, while decreasing the illegal transportation of goods through its borders.
Colombia’s National Tax and Customs Agency, DIAN, approached USTDA for assistance in 2012, when it was losing billions of dollars annually due to the smuggling of alcohol, tobacco and merchandise. This illegal trafficking decreased Colombia’s fiscal revenues and undermined its ability to reinvest those resources into social programs and new infrastructure. USTDA responded by funding technical assistance that continues to generate export opportunities for U.S. firms and strengthen Colombia’s ports and customs operations.
Based on USTDA’s assistance, the Colombian government issued a decree mandating the procurement of scanners to inspect containers arriving at all the country’s ports, airports and border crossings. Colombia subsequently installed non-intrusive cargo inspection systems at the Ports of Aguadulce, Barranquilla, Buenaventura, Cartagena, and Santa Marta that allow shipping containers to be inspected without being opened.
These systems, procured from U.S. companies in California, Florida, and Massachusetts, process cargo more quickly, improve the flow of port traffic, optimize the accuracy of cargo risk-profiling and facilitate information sharing between authorities. The result is a stronger, safer and more secure port infrastructure.
USTDA’s Acting Director Enoh T. Ebong summarized the success: “Our work in Colombia has helped the country make significant and long-lasting improvements in its ports’ security and safety. These activities truly showcase the quality and capacity of American technology and the best of USTDA’s collaboration with our key partners in Latin America.”
The Valle de Cauca province, located along Colombia’s Pacific coast, is home to a population of nearly 4.6 million, with the country’s third-largest economy. In 2012, EMCALI, the region’s primary utility and an early adopter of smart grid technologies, collaborated with USTDA for advanced solutions to manage peak electricity and more efficiently utilize its generation, transmission and distribution resources for its 550,000 residential, 30,000 commercial and 30,000 industrial customers.
After partnering with Missouri-based Aclara to implement an advanced metering infrastructure system, EMCALI installed more than 14,000 smart meters and 800 prepaid meters by the end of 2012. EMCALI subsequently looked to USTDA for options to develop an automated demand side management (ADSM) system allowing consumers to decrease electricity consumption during peak periods, reduce the need for expensive peak power generation and maintain grid reliability.
USTDA’s responded in 2015 by funding an ADSM feasibility study and first-of-its-kind pilot project that is now serving local businesses, a university and EMCALI’s own facilities. The project further enabled EMCALI to use ADSM to manage peak demand and reduce customer energy expenses by six percent. EMCALI also expanded its investment in smart meter coverage for its customers.
USTDA’s Chief Operating Officer, Head of Agency Todd Abrajano concluded that “Our work in Valle de Cauca demonstrates the cutting-edge innovation and lasting benefits of American ADSM technology. Even better, this project can easily be replicated across Colombia and has the ability to fill a critical need in improving power delivery throughout the region.”