Past Projects

January 15-21, 2017: 3rd Annual "Mujeres del Sol" Project

Each year, GRID offers a unique opportunity for Nicaraguan women who are interested in the renewable energy industry to gain hands-on solar installation experience by participating in our annual "Mujeres del Sol" project. In January 2017, 10 women installed a 1 kW off-grid PV system on the primary school and the health clinic in the rural community of Los Encuentros, Estelí. While a few renewable energy programs are offered by universities in Nicaragua, opportunities to get actual installation experience are very scarce. The "Mujeres del Sol" initiative gives Nicaraguan citizens a chance to learn about solar, gain skills to enter the growing renewable energy industry, and to have a role in creating a clean energy future for their country. Click here to see photos from this project.


November 5-13, 2016: Solar Home Systems in El Pedregal, Nicaragua 

In the rural community of El Pedregal, Nicaragua, families are living in extreme poverty. With the nearest town a 2 hour walk away, it is difficult for people to get even the most basic necessities. Nearly 7 years ago, GRID worked with the community to install solar on their local school. In November 2016, GRID returned to El Pedregal to install solar home systems, providing a brighter path for current and future generations.


October 15-23, 2016: Solar Powered Drip Irrigation System in Matagalpa, Nicaragua 

In October 2016, GRID Alternatives’ International Program volunteers worked with farmer Silverio Rizo to install a solar-powered drip irrigation system on his small farm in the community of Jucuapa Abajo, Matagalpa, Nicaragua. The system makes it possible for the Rizo family to irrigate their crops all year round, improving crop volume and diversity and providing additional income for their family of 12. 


Solar Microgrid in Dhapchung, Nepal Sept 25-Oct 6, 2016

One year after the devastating earthquakes, Nepali people are still working to move from rubble to reconstruction, and from darkness to light. In the wake of the disaster, GRID Alternatives installed a solar microgrid to bring power to one of the most deeply impacted communities in Nepal: the village of Dhapchung. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and partners and the generosity of our supporters, the Dhapchung community now has an unprecedented level of connectivity and opportunity.



Solar-Powered Drip Irrigation System, July 23-31, 2016

GRID Alternatives International Program volunteers traveled with GRID in July to install a solar-powered drip irrigation system on a small farm in Jinotega, Nicaragua. The solar-powered irrigation system will enable the Cruz family to dramatically improve their crop productivity and diversity, spend less time collecting water, and increase their income, transforming their agricultural livelihood and leaving a lasting impact on the family. 


Solar-Powered Drip Irrigation System, June 4-12, 2016

In June 2016, GRID Alternatives’ International Program volunteers installed a solar-powered drip irrigation system on the small farm of Juan Pablo Herrera and Maria Helena Molina in Jinotega, Nicaragua. Volunteers installed a solar-powered water pump that moves water from a water source into a tank, and then gravity moves the water through the tubes to the plants drip by drip.


Solar Powererd Drip Irrigation System, May 14-22, 2016

In May 2016, GRID Alternatives’ International Program volunteers will be installing a solar-powered drip irrigation system on a small farm in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Volunteers will install a solar-powered water pump that moves water from a water source into a tank, and then gravity will move the water through the tubes to the plants drip by drip. 


Solar School in Rural Nicaragua, March 5-13, 2016

In March 2016, GRID Alternatives volunteers installed a 1kW off-grid battery-based solar electric (PV) system on an elementary school in San Juan de Paula, Boaco, Nicaragua. Volunteers had the opportunity to stay with families from the community for three days during the solar installation. Before and after the solar project, the group traveled around country to learn more about Nicaraguan geography, people and culture.


Solar-Powered School and Health Clinic, El Guaylo, Esteli

In January 2015, GRID Alternatives led a group of Nicaraguan women volunteers to install a battery-based PV system on the community school in El Guaylo. One year later, in January 2016, GRID led another all-women volunteer team to install a battery-based solar PV system on the health clinic. Impacts from El Guaylo's solar-powered school and health clinic include access to technology in schools, entrepreneurship opportunities, better medical care, and savings of time and money. Read more about the background and impacts of these projects in the El Gualyo Case Study.


  
Matagalpa, November 28-Dec 6, 2015

In November 2015, GRID Alternatives’ International Program volunteers installed a solar-powered drip irrigation system on a small farm in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. The project uses solar power to pump water from a water source into a tank, and then gravity moves the water from the tank into tubes that water the farmer’s crops through drip irrigation. 


Agua Fria, Esteli, November 14-22, 2015

In November 2015, GRID Alternatives led a team of volunteers to Nicaragua to install an off-grid PV system on a health clinic in the town of Agua Fria, Esteli. Volunteers worked in two groups to install the battery-based systems that brought lights and AC power to the rural health post called a “casa base”. The health post is used every week by the community to treat a range of injuries and illnesses since the closest hospital takes hours to walk to from each community. A volunteer health worker is on call at the health post and several times a year the post is used by health brigades that bring vaccines and other medical services to the community.  


Sponsored Project: San Fernando, October 2015
 

In October 2015, GRID Alternatives led a private trip to Nicaragua with volunteers from SunEdison to install an off-grid photovoltaic system on a primary school in the community of Sector 2, located at San Fernando Island in Solentiname.

 

 


Tatumblita
Totumblita, Matagalpa, July 25-August 2, 2015

Join us on a trip to install an off-grid photovoltaic system on a primary school in the community of Totumblita.  Totumblita is tucked behind a forgotten corner of the town of Ciudad Dario, Matagalpa, Nicaragua, down an unimproved road that is impassible during the rainy season. GRID volunteers will install a PV system that will provide lights for the school and AC power, allowing the school to serve as a central charging place for cell phones and other appliances that improve the quality of life in this impoverished farming community. 


Los Chaguites, June 20-28 2015

Los Chaquites is a rural community that has never had electricy. Residents are still seeing by candlelight and kerosene lamps - which are costly and dangerous for indoor use. Travel with us to install solar on the school, providing a safe place for community members to meet and learn after dark, as well as charge phones.


Agua Fria
Agua Fria, Esteli, April 2015

In April 2015, GRID Alternatives led a trip to Nicaragua with volunteers to install an off-grid photovoltaic system on a primary school in the community of Agua Fria. Agua Fria is a small town located in the department of Esteli, Nicaragua.  The community is made up of 159 people living in 30 houses and is 6km from the electric grid.  There is a public bus that visits the community twice a week when the road is passable in the dry season.  


 
Sponsored Project: Platanal Solar Homes, March 2015

In March 2015, GRID Alternatives led a private group of 40 volunteers to Nicaragua to install off-grid solar home systems in the community of Potrero del Platanal, Boaco, Nicaragua.  This community has no access to conventional grid electricity and is one of the most remote towns in this region, tucked away within the mountainous landscape of San Lorenzo, Boaco. The 235W systems use high-quality components and are designed to meet the needs of the rural families, bringing lights and AC power their homes. GRID Alternatives installed an off-grid PV system on the school in Platanal in 2013. 

 

 


Drip Irrigation Pilot Project, December 2014

In December 2014, GRID Alternatives’ International Program launched a pilot project to improve the lives of small farmers in rural Nicaragua.  GRID Alternatives volunteers worked with local families and partners, Suni Solar S.A. and the National Union of Growers and Livestock Farmers (UNAG), to install a solar-powered drip irrigation system to provide water to fruits and vegetable crops for small family-run farms.  The system will pump water from a nearby water source, store the water in a tank, and then use gravity to provide water to the crops, providing a reliable low-water irrigation method for the farmer’s fruit and vegetable crops during the dry season. Click here to learn more about this project.


La Trinidad, Boaco, October 2014

Volunteers helped install two off-grid photovoltaic systems in La Trinidad, a rural community in the department of Boaco, one on a small health post and the other on the primary school. Volunteers also got to stay at a sustainable coffee farm in Matagalpa and see the colonial town of Granada.  Click here to view photos from the trip, or here for more information about the project, click here.


 
Los Encuentros, Matagalpa, August 2014

Volunteers installed a 1.38kW off-grid photovoltaic system on a primary school in the community of Los Encuentros, a rural community located in a very remote part of Matagalpa, Nicaragua that is only accessible by footpath. The school serves 81 children and serves as a community hub. After the installation, volunteers visited Granada and saw the annual festival of its patron saint, Virgen de la Asunción, where processions filled the street with colorful flowers, decorations and fireworks. August 15th was also the “hipico,” a parade of horses with cowboys dressed to impress. For more information about this project, click here.


Sponsored Project: El Islote, May 2014

May 2014, GRID Alternatives led a team of SolarCity employee volunteers to Nicaragua through SolarCity’s Give Power Foundation to install a 1.38kW off-grid photovoltaic system on a primary school in the community of El Islote.  The small fishing village of El Islote (“The Islet” in Spanish) is located in the municipality of Buenos Aires, Rivas, Nicaragua, about 58 miles south of the country’s capital of Managua.  The community sits on the edge of a freshwater peninsula in Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America. Click here to see photos. For information on sponsored trips, contact Maura McKnight, mmcknight@gridalternatives.org or 510-731-1321.

 


Success!
Charco Muerto, Granada, March 2014

In March 2014, GRID Alternatives led a trip to Nicaragua to install a 1.38kW off-grid photovoltaic system on a primary school in the rural community of Charco Muerto. This community sits on a white sandy beach on the edge of Lake Nicaragua and is perched on the southeast end of volcano Mombacho. Volunteers also had the chance to see the town of Masaya celebrate the festival of San Lázaro in honor of the patron saint and protector of animals. Click here to view photos from the trip.


Sponsored Project: Potrero Sur, February 2014

On February 1 2014, GRID Alternatives and Power to the People led a trip to Nicaragua with volunteers from Sunrun to install a 1.38kW off-grid photovoltaic system on a primary school in the community of Potrero Sur. Potrero Sur is a rural community located in Boaco, Nicaragua (90 kilometers northeast of the country’s capital, Managua). Volunteers stayed at a sustainable coffee farm in Matagalpa and visited the historic town of Leon to learn more about Nicaragua before and after the solar installation. Click here to view photos from the trip.

 

 


GRID Alternatives acquired Power to the People in 2014. Click here to read about past projects through Power to the People.

Contact us for more information about our trips!