CAP HAITIAN, HAITI — WSP USA, a leading engineering and environmental consultancy, partnered with power systems innovator WestGen Power Solutions to provide a reliable and renewable energy supply to the Meds & Food for Kids (MFK) factory in Cap Haitian, Haiti.
MFK is a nonprofit organization in Haiti with a mission to produce and deliver therapeutic treatment to malnourished and anemic children, and pregnant and nursing women through its “Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Foods.” The MFK factory, where all its foods are produced, does not have grid access and was operating on several diesel generators with unreliable fuel supply and the high noise and greenhouse gas emissions that come along with conventional diesel generators.
MFK discovered that even with generators and money for diesel, electricity was still sometimes out of reach because of diesel supply chain shortages caused by civil disorder, extreme weather and general global fuel-oil supply chain challenges. Because of frequent power interruptions and resulting MFK production shutdowns, at least 23,000 children were not treated for malnutrition and at least 26,000 school children were not treated for anemia in an 18-month period.
“MFK made the decision to switch 70 percent of its power needs to solar and began its search for the smartest and most cost-effective way to install a system,” said Dr. Patricia Wolff, MFK founder. “MFK scoured the world for consultants. Enter WestGen and WSP. There are not enough superlatives to describe their skills, understanding of the Haitian physical and technical environment, availability, endless patience with uninformed questions and their emotional commitment to MFK’s success.”
WSP and WestGen worked with MFK to design a hybrid solar/storage microgrid system specifically sized and integrated to meet the needs of the facility. The new system has a 20-year projected lifespan — considerably longer than traditional diesel systems — and offers significant reduction in emissions and fuel consumption. The system also enables a much higher energy efficiency, where no power generated is wasted.
“MFK is on track to install a 300-kilowatt solar system before the end of 2022, bringing better air quality, lower cost, more reliability and sustainability into MFK’s and Haiti’s future,” Wolff said. “WestGen and WSP set MFK on this path to success and MFK is very grateful.”
In addition to eliminating downtime, the upgraded solar powered microgrid system will lower MFK’s production costs. MFK can then use the savings for its core mission of treating more malnourished toddlers, treating more anemic school children and supplementing more poorly nourished pregnant women, creating greater impact.
“WSP USA is proud and humbled to be part of this important project alongside our Emerge strategic partner, WestGen,” said Pooja Jain, vice president of strategic innovations at WSP. “It is a perfect example of social impact resulting from strong collaboration between an emerging clean technology, engineering services to scale the technology and impact focused organizations where such solutions are the only option.”
WSP’s Emerge program is the company’s vehicle to forge strategic alliances with pioneering technology and product start-ups, to help refine, optimize and scale their offerings while integrating value-added innovation into the consulting services the firm provides to clients and communities. WestGen was WSP’s flagship strategic partner in the program and inspiration for the six other Emerge partners that have been engaged with WSP since.
“The opportunity to work on such an impactful project has been greatly rewarding for the WestGen team,” said Greg Bilson, WestGen founder and CEO. “MFK is a tremendous organization, providing a critical service to the people of Haiti. We take great pride in providing power solutions that result in such direct benefit for the community.”
About WSP USA
WSP USA is the U.S. operating company of WSP, one of the world's leading engineering and professional services firms. Dedicated to serving local communities, we are engineers, planners, environmental professionals, technical experts, strategic advisors and construction management professionals. WSP USA designs lasting solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water and environmental markets. With more than 12,000 employees in 200 offices across the U.S., we partner with our clients to help communities prosper. wsp.com
Emerge is WSP’s strategic partnership program for early and growth stage technologies companies. Partners are paired with WSP’s in-house subject matter experts, get a chance to pilot and refine the solution, and deploy with a broad client base. WestGen was WSP’s early Emerge partner. emerge.wspis.com/
About WestGen Power Solutions
WestGen Power Solutions is a power systems innovator with expertise in the design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation of mobile and pre-packaged renewable power units and microgrids. Its systems provide consistent and reliable power supply for commercial, industrial and emergency applications. www.westgenpower.com
About Meds & Food for Kids
Meds & Food for Kids is dedicated to meeting the essential nutritional needs of malnourished children, pregnant and nursing women and school children using Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) produced in our factory in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. By transferring skills and knowledge to Haitian men and women and engaging farmers to source local raw materials, we break the cycle of poverty and sustainably stimulate economic development. www.mfkhaiti.org
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