“This project would not be possible without the dedicated partnership between our staff and NRG’s volunteers. This project helps us to give our kids a new opportunity in life.”
The photovoltaic solar array will use batteries to store solar power and provide Zanmi Beni with a stable supply of clean, reliable and fuel-free energy to supplement Haiti’s unreliable grid power, which is often only available a few hours each day. The array will help provide electricity for lights, computers, appliances, fans and other equipment to keep the children safe, healthy and entertained.
Five employees were selected from entries submitted across all of NRG’s locations and subsidiaries to be considered for the charitable assignment. The winners were selected based on their passion for NRG’s work in Haiti and their past and current commitments to community volunteer efforts.
“We were so impressed with the teamwork and determination behind NRG’s successful installation of the new photovoltaic solar array here at Zanmi Beni Home for Children,” said Loune Viaud, director of strategic planning and operations at Zanmi Beni. “This project would not be possible without the dedicated partnership between our staff and NRG’s volunteers. This project helps us to give our kids a new opportunity in life.”
Most of the children who reside in Zanmi Beni—which means “Blessed Friends” in Haitian Creole—were evacuated from the area’s General Hospital after the devastating earthquake in January 2010. The children range from 2 to 21 years old; some without parents and many living with either physical or developmental disabilities. A dedicated 185-person staff of clinicians and caretakers provide the highest possible quality of long-term care that these infants, toddlers, children and teenagers will require throughout their lifetimes.
Zanmi Beni is a result of a partnership between Partners in Health, its Haitian sister organization Zanmi Lasante, and Operation Blessing International. Volunteers from Operation Blessing, SMA (which provided discounted inverters for the project) and Enersa (a local Haitian solar company and NRG partner) joined NRG volunteers for the installation last week. Trina Solar, Unirac and Surrette Battery Company provided additional components for the array at discounted cost.
The Zanmi Beni installation is NRG’s latest project in a multi-location program to greatly expand the use of solar power across Haiti. NRG is installing solar power at a fish farm, a drip irrigation agricultural farm and at 20 schools in Haiti’s Central Plateau region. NRG’s donation of funds and volunteers was made through NRG Global Giving, the Company’s employee-led corporate responsibility program. Last year, NRG Global Giving donated $4.6 million to 362 organizations and matched more than 1,000 employee donations. Those donations and financial grants go to non-profit organizations that improve the communities where NRG employees live and work.
NRG is at the forefront of changing how people think about and use energy. A Fortune 500 company, NRG is a pioneer in developing cleaner and smarter energy choices for our customers: whether as one of the largest solar power developers in the country, or by building the first privately funded electric vehicle charging infrastructure or by giving customers the latest smart energy solutions to better manage their energy use. Our diverse power generating facilities can support more than 20 million homes and our retail electricity providers – Reliant, Green Mountain Energy Company and Energy Plus – serve more than two million customers.