Thursday, June 29, 2006

Honduras Trip

On my recent trip to Honduras in the first week of June 2006, I visited the company Soluz Honduras, which is based in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

US entrepreneur, Richard Hansen, founded Soluz in 1998. Since that time, the company has installed about 5000 solar systems in Honduras. My objective for this trip was to get to know Soluz Honduras and its dynamic CEO, Loyda Alonso, and to help establish contacts with local financing entities that might have an interest in lending money to Soluz Honduras’ rural customers.

We met with Finsol, the largest micro finance organization in Honduras with 18,000 clients and a loan portfolio of $18m, and ODEF, with 15,000 clients and a portfolio of $9m US. Finsol’s customers are very urban, whereas 80% of ODEF’s clientele live in rural Honduras. Both organizations were extremely interested in establishing a strategic alliance with Soluz as access to the rural customer is becoming more and more valuable.

We also had a phone conversation with Jimmy Navarro, General Manager of La Central, a cooperative of 3000 coffee farmers that is interested in installing solar-powered coffee dryers.

Afterwards, we visited the village of Santa Rita where Soluz installed thirty-one off-grid solar systems just six months ago. The villagers were very satisfied with the performance of the solar systems and proudly demonstrated their new electric lights, TVs, and cell phone chargers. The village is about fifty-years-old and never had electricity until half a year ago.

The school building there, which is also now a solar-powered facility, was being used as a health center during our visit, and a visiting doctor and his traveling medical team were performing preventive health care for the local residents. The medical team visits the town once a month.

It was great to see how the circumstances of Santa Rita’s population have improved so drastically in the past six months. However, it reminds us of how much more work still has to be done. Soluz is preparing to participate in a World Bank project whose objective is to install 5000 solar systems in rural Honduras. Soluz has the ideal preparation and years of experience to help this project succeed.

3 Comments:

Blogger Ken Eskenazi said...

What a great trip!

If Solgenix can help Soluz attract more financing, everyone wins. Not the least being the people of Honduras – who in some cases are now able to join the 21st century (bypassing the 20th).

Small scale solar installations make so much sense in rural situations. How can you connect to the power grid when there isn't one?

I hope the project with the coffee farmer coop works out. Please keep us up to date on your progress Titus.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Titus Brenninkmeijer said...

Small Scale Rural PV Installations
It is amazing to see how these small scale solar installations change the reality of life in the rural areas. The systems do not connect to the grid and are stand-alone. It is all about generating electricity there where people live and work.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Wendy West said...

I think that you are amazing and that it is amazing that you are doing this work. Keep it up!!! Do not give up your dream, live your dream and create your own reality and offer that to others! With love, Wendy

7:00 PM  

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