In November 2023, GRID's team in Mexico, together with renewable energy students from Universidad Tecnologica de Tijuana, installed 20 solar home systems in the remote indigenous community of Juntas de Neji in Baja California, Mexico. With access to clean, reliable electricity, families will be able to power lighting and electric appliances that can give them better access to education, news, entertainment, and income-generating opportunities.
Located in the municipality of Tecate, Juntas de Neji covers an area of 11,590 hectares and is home to 140 residents, 90 of whom belong to the Kumeyaay nation, making Juntas de Neji the northernmost indigenous community of Mexico. Although Juntas de Neji is relatively close to larger towns like Tecate and Tijuana, grid electricity has never been extended to their community. Some families in the community live in 500-square-foot houses that were built in 2017 by the federal government to reduce overcrowding in this area, but many of the homes still have no electricity or potable water, even though the new homes have a tank for water on the roof.
GRID Alternatives has been working with the community of Juntas de Neji for five years with the support of different partners. This was the fifth project in the community; in 2018, 18 solar home systems and a solar system at the local school were installed. GRID installed six more solar home systems in October 2019, bringing clean, reliable electricity to six more families in the community for the first time, improving the quality of life for residents and creating more income-generating opportunities. In May 2022 GRID worked with two off-grid Kumeyaay communities in northern Baja California to bring solar electricity and solar refrigeration to families. Residents of Juntas de Neji and San Antonio Necua now have reliable solar electricity.
During the installation, renewable energy participants from the Tijuana area gained hands-on solar installation experience assembling the solar systems from start to finish.
Thanks to the Sempra Foundation for making this project possible.
Check out the photos from the installation here!