blueEnergy powers its first rural clinic in Kahkabila
In December 2008 blueEnergy installed its first energy system for a rural clinic. The installation is in the community of Kahkabila, to the north of Bluefields and is used to power the doctor’s house, lights in the clinic, an asthma treatment machine and soon a vaccine storage freezer.
The new hybrid wind/solar installation at the clinic in Kahkabila. The clinic serves approximately 500 people.
Community members with the first wind turbine installation in Kahkabila in the background. The first installation provides power to two schools and a community center and serves as a community phone charging station.
Members of the blueEnergy installation crew with the proud members of the community energy commission.
The community of Kahkabila is incredibly thankful for the new installation.
BP Solar and Trojan donations power the National Technical Institute
In December 2008 blueEnergy installed a 1 kW solar power system on the campus of IPCC-INATEC, with a battery bank provided by Trojan Battery Company.
The new 1 kW solar array installed by blueEnergy, with a solar panel donation from BP Solar. The array is used for campus lighting.
Mathias Craig, Director of blueEnergy International, Guillaume Craig, Director of blueEnergy Nicaragua, and Dionisio Pavon, Director of the IPCC-INATEC in front of the power center, featuring a battery bank donated by Trojan Battery Company.
Induction into the Ashoka Fellowship
blueEnergy is honored to have been inducted into the Ashoka Fellowship in December 2008. Ashoka is a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship and supports a network of 2,000 entrepeneurs around the world, creating a transition to a society of "everyone a changemaker".
Mathias Craig listens to Andy Lipkis, founder of TreePeople and member of the 2008 class of Ashoka Fellows. The class of fellows spent the day at the TreePeople’s ecological center in the center of Los Angeles. The center teaches people about natural water systems and how to conserve and protect the environment.
Armando Laborde, Director of Ashoka Mexico and Barbara Kazdan, Director of Ashoka US, speak at the 2008 Fellows ceremony at the UCLA campus, in Los Angeles.
The Fellows class of 2008 at the induction ceremony in Los Angeles.
Mathias Craig received the fellowship certificate from Lucy Perkins, Diamond Strategist and CFO of Ashoka.
The Nicaraguan Minister of Energy, Emilio Rappaccioli, recently visited the blueEnergy workshop at INATEC and attended a presentation describing blueEnergy’s mission, history and projects.
Lead by the Vice Director of blueEnergy Nicaragua, Ismael Castillo, the presentation covered the current installations in Monkey Point and Kahkabila. blueEnergy’s successes were described with video and photographs showing the work that had been done.
The visit also covered upcoming projects and included a tour of the workshop.
blueEnergy hosts Hugh Piggott in Bluefields and organizes renewable energy and sustainability conference
blueEnergy is pleased and excited to announce the arrival of world renowned small wind turbine guruHugh Piggott to Bluefields for two weeks, starting the 20th October. Apart from organizing and participating in wind turbine workshops all around the world, Hugh has published several books on the techniques of building wind turbines and is widely regarded as a leading authority on small scale, locally manufactured wind turbines. Mr. Piggott is extremely passionate about every facet of wind power development and revels in passing on this knowledge to as many people as possible. In his own words, "my books are written for those who want to build their own windmill and for those who dream."
During Mr. Piggott’s first week in Bluefields, he will be working together with the blueEnergy staff which includes local workers as well as volunteers from around the globe. Turbine fabrication and maintenance techniques, as well as design improvements on blueEnergy´s current turbine models will be the main focus of the internal workshop. The second week of Mr. Piggott´s stay will feature a conference hosted by blueEnergy around renewable energy and sustainable development in Nicaragua. Representatives from different organizations (SuniSolar, AsoFenix, ATDER, Hivos) and universities (National Technical University of Nicaragua) involved in this rapidly growing sector will be participating. Each participant will be giving a presentation about their organization and a case study as well as working with Mr. Piggott to learn turbine fabrication techniques. This conference is seen as a key step in the long-term development of renewable energy and sustainability within Nicaragua. The conference will conclude on Saturday, November 1st with an open event for all our guests, the public and the media aimed to increase awareness of blueEnergy´s presence in Bluefields.
Maintenance training class held at blueEnergy
blueEnergy held an internal one week maintenance training class in September. The goal of this class was not only to inform new volunteers on maintenance practices, but to also form a consensus among experienced personnel on exact methods and terminology that will be included in subsequent versions of the operator’s manual. The latter goal is significant as it will allow for consistency and completeness in work conducted within the communities, which is an essential criterion for success in the communities. Such consistency will ensure that successive trips in the communities will be able to reinforce maintenance principles without potentially causing confusion due to conflicting practices.
Overall the maintenance class went very well and the blueEnergy technical team in Bluefields took advantage of the practical aspect of the class and performed maintenance on the turbine installations at the INATEC campus in Bluefields.
Maintenance trip highlights blueEnergy successes and challenges
It was an early morning that kicked off a long week for the six members that made up the blueEnergy maintenance team last Wednesday. Rising at six a.m. for a seven o’clock departure, Loic, Clement, Casey, Sebastian, Gilberto set off with their fearless leader, Ismael, in a panga full of gear to perform diagnostics and maintenance training in the distant sites of Kahkabila, Set Net Point and Pearl Lagoon-FADCANIC. The team spent five days working their magic on system maintenance, diagnostics and community development.
Kahkabila The team made an afternoon visit to the installation in Kahkabila to install electronics and perform a general diagnostic of the equipment. The solar panel system had not been functioning since a recent suspected lightning strike. Loic installed a new charge controller for the solar array while Gilberto and Sebastian performed routine battery maintenance. Once the wind data logger was running the system was then tested and found to be operating normally once again. Now the residents who depend on the system daily will have a more consistent supply of electricity.
Also, the Centro de Salud was briefly surveyed as a site for a possible second installation. According to the locals, several more installations are needed to meet the needs of the 876-person community. Though the current system provides less than one KW, it is more power than the citizens have ever had.
"We have about 30-40 people using it to charge their cell phones. It is also used for lights in the school six days a week when we have adult classes in the evening," said the Village Coodinator, Lauterio Thomas Fox. "When the power stops, the people, they riot." He added, jokingly.
While riots may be an exaggeration, the fact is that it is not just Kahkabila that gains from the power the turbine and solar panels provide. People from the neighboring community of Brownbank make the three-mile journey to charge their cell phones as well. According to Lauterio, there is a constant stream of people charging their phones every week.
"We take care and are very proud about it," said Lauterio. "We see the benefits it brings."
Set Net Point The most remote installation surveyed by the blueEnergy team was Set Net Point. Running along a thin strip of coast between the mainland and the Cayos Perlas, Set Net is a picturesque community along the shore. blueEnergy installed a 12-foot diameter turbine and 24v solar array on the school grounds about one year ago. Set Net is the most challenging natural environment faced by blueEnergy to date and the deterioration of equipment from the salinity, heat and humidity is a concern.
While the engineers were performing the technical maintenance, Ismael held a small meeting with local residents. Addressing about a dozen people, Ismael described blueEnergy´s place in system maintenance as not solely responsible but rather, "in cooperation with the municipality." Expanding on Ismael´s words was the Planning Director for the Alcaldea de Lagunas de Perlas, Dexter Hooker. Describing the installation as a pilot program, Dexter stated, "If it could work it could be bigger. Everything is in your hands. You have to say if you want it to continue; it could work if you put more effort into it."
The meeting turned into an open forum discussion about the roles and responsibilities of maintenance. After raising the tower the team departed Set Net early in the evening with a full to-do list for the next visit.
Pearl Lagoon – FADCANIC The team’s first and last stop was the FADCANIC-sponsored school in Pearl Lagoon. The school was bustling with students upon arrival late Wednesday morning, many of who stopped to catch a glimpse of the work being done. The team lowered the tower with the intention of replacing the refurbished 8 ft turbine.
The blueEnergy team worked with several of the locals to make sure the work was completed in a timely manner. Of course, the intermittent rain showers threatened progress, but the team, not to be deterred, labored until after dusk making sure everything was working correctly.
The Sunday of the blueEnergy maintenance team’s departure began with a few electronics tests and a final coat of paint on the anchors. Shortly after the finishing touches were made, the rains returned and the team bade a soggy but happy farewell to Pearl Lagoon.
It was a long and tiring trip for the six-person team, but one that gave renewed insight into the reason blueEnergy is in operation. The communities visited and the work done were constant reminders of the positive work blueEnergy has thus-far achieved and the challenging road that lies ahead.
Volunteers finish extended stay at Monkey Point community
Over their three months with blueEnergy, volunteers Lynn Schneider and David Chalmers spent two months of complete immersion in the remote community of Monkey Point (MP), a community of about 300 people four hours south of Bluefields. Their stay marks the beginning of blueEnergy’s commitment to develop a greater presence in the communities it serves. This work to immerse volunteers within communities aims to strengthen blueEnergy’s understanding of community needs, lifestyles, and culture so that more appropriate methods of working with community can be developed.
As the first blueEnergy representatives to stay at Monkey Point for an extended time, Lynn and David accomplished a substantial amount. Their work was related to three topics: capacity building within the Energy Commission at MP, studying the socio-economic conditions and cultural dynamics of MP, and teaching various classes in the community. Lynn and David held weekly meetings and capacity building activities with the Energy Commission in an effort to develop regularity in the maintenance processes and a greater sense of ownership of the energy installation within the Energy Commission. To gain a greater understanding of the people and lifestyle of MP, Lynn and David documented the daily activities, struggles, and interactions of community members. Lastly, Lynn and David expanded interested community members knowledge of energy and other subjects pertinent to sustainable development through classes on subjects such as literacy, English language, health and sanitation, energy, and the environment. Most classes were well attended with between 15 and 30 children and young adults at each class.
Lynn and David’s work has already provided great insight to blueEnergy, and they have also provided great recommendations and documentation for blueEnergy to build on in the future.
Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI)
Executive director Mathias Craig was granted a scholarship to attend a social entrepreneurship program for two weeks in mid-August. The GSBI is a program of the Center for Science, Technology and Society at Santa Clara University and its mission is to train social entrepreneurs to refine and scale their organizations and their impact. Mathias was among 16 entrepreneurs selected from around the world to attend the social enterpreneurship bootcamp, which featured business consulting and presentations from Silicon Valley executives from top tier companies and nonprofit
Applied materials award
The last year has been a successful one for blueEnergy and among the successes we are most proud of is our relationship with Applied Materials. We are honored to be a recipient of a grant from the Applied Materials Foundation in honor of employees that contributed at the Leadership Level through the Applied Materials’ Employee Giving Program and encouraged to see a company as established as Applied Materials taking a bold step to promote the development of renewable energy in communities that otherwise would have none.
Trojan battery company gives in big way
blueEnergy would like to thank the Trojan Battery Company for their recent donation of 40 deep-cycle batteries. The donation consisted of 24TM and L16H batteries, both ideally suited for stand-alone renewable energy applications. Trojan´s generous donation will help power the future of small communities in remote regions of Nicaragua. The donated batteries will help expand the reach of blueEnergy´s current installations, providing clean power to local schools and community facilities.
BP Solar panel donation advances progress
The recent arrival of solar panels donated by BP Solar was a welcome event for the team at blueEnergy Nicaragua. Several of the solar panels will be installed during the staff orientation so that long-term volunteers will have a better understanding of how they work.
"Being able to work hands-on with the solar panels will be the best way to learn how they work," said Casey Callais, a new volunteer from Texas. "Clean energy is the way forward, and I am excited to be able to help bring it to Nicaragua."
New volunteers join blueEnergy
The past few months have seen a lot of change amongst blueEnergy’s volunteer staff in Bluefields. Many volunteers left in August and September including Maxime Gouraud, from France, who worked for a year with blueEnergy setting up traveling logistics for community trips, organizing the workshop and the blueEnergy house, as well as accounting and technical support for many months. Stephanie Judd, from the US left after six months, and worked with the biosand water filter project. Maya Ward-Karet, also from the US, left after four months working on the CERCA training center project. Lynn Schneider and David Chalmers, also from the US, left after three months, and stayed in Monkey Point for an extended time to learn about the culture there and offer classes to the community. Christian Casillas and Josiah Johnston both Ph.D. students from the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley, stayed for several months and left in August after conducting research on wind resources and sustainable lighting projects, respectively. Eliot Cayaso a student from Universidad Nacional de Ingeniera (UNI) in Managaua volunteered for about two months working on turbine construction.
In conjunction with the departure of those volunteers, blueEnergy has received many new volunteers, most of who will be working with blueEnergy for at least one year. There are four new volunteers from France: Loïc Queval, will be conducting characterization tests of the wind turbines; Hervé Chavagnon will be acting as volunteer manager for blueEnergy; Clément Joulain will be working with turbine design; and Olivier Coupiac will be managing technical processes and products for blueEnergy. Cormac Lacey, from Ireland, will be conducting data collection surveys to create several maps of the communities that blueEnergy serves. There are also four new volunteers from the US: Katherine Brandt will be working with the biosand filtration project; Scott White will be working as a field technician in the communities blueEnergy serves; Casey Callais will be working as the facilities manager for blueEnergy; and last but not least Alex Peterson will be developing policy and procedure documents for blueEnergy.
As a testament to blueEnergy’s growing capacity and capabilities, Bluefields is now home to 16 international blueEnergy staff members, and is poised to increase to 20 in the coming months. BlueEnergy is pleased to welcome all the new volunteers, and is eager to integrate them into the work environment.
Growth at blueEnergy headquarters in San Francisco, California
San Francisco’s blueEnergy office has also experienced exciting changes since the beginning of the summer. French volunteer Philibert Maniez contributed to information and technology systems in the early summer months, and blueEnergy said goodbye to its long-term administrative assistant Rachael Boggan.
Since then, the office acquired Alex Pederson (currently in Nicaragua), who left the material comfort of corporate and tax law to become a full-time blueEnergy volunteer, leading a tri-country accounting and legal effort. Alex has an affinity for the Oregon Ducks and a love of nonfiction, like PWC’s Nonprofit Accounting Guide. Ben Hyman also returned after 4 months of volunteering in Nicaragua to continue working on communications at the San Francisco office. Ben is thrilled to be working on various research projects with graduate students in his home town at UC Berkeley.
The SF office is pleased to have hired its lead accountant Leyla Guiterrez, a Colombia-native with 4 years of auditing experience in firms in both Colombia and San Francisco. Leyla is excited about blueEnergy’s financial progress, and is progressing quickly in her French class to accommodate the dynamic tri-lingual world of blueEnergy. San Francisco is also fortunate to have Anita Arackaparampil as a volunteer accountant working with Leyla. Anitha is from South Africa, has two years of experience in accounting and auditing, and feels right at home transitioning from the wildlife of South Africa to the non-profit environment in San Francisco.
Together, Alex, Ben, Leyla, Anitha, Mathias & Lorelei, put on a successful fund-raiser at a local San Francisco pub, establishing important connections in the Bay Area community and raising $2,300 for local Nicaraguan staff support. The office has grown extremely close, and is excited to have a long-term and committed staff working together in San Francisco.
blueEnergy France activities
blueEnergy engineers François Cochemé and Lâl Marandin led an exploratory and feasibility trip in Senegal from July 28th to August 10th. The purpose of the trip was to survey several areas of Senegal that could benefit from the development of local wind power and solar capabilities. François and Lâl visited the regions of Casamance, the Dakar area, the surroundings of Thiès and the St Louis region. They met with technical education officials, with university departments focusing on the promotion of renewable energy, with community leaders, with school teachers in isolated areas, with several NGO and development agencies. A very exciting moment of the trip was the field visit to Goback, a village in the northern region of Senegal where the CIFRES and Project EolSenegal installed a hybrid Piggott turbine and PV system on a community health center.
blueEnergy Newsletter: Energy Globe Award / Operator training / New office space / Presidents... and more!
2007 Energy Globe Awards (in may 2008)
As mentioned in our last newsletter, blueEnergy was selected as the winner of the Energy Globe Awards 2007 for Nicaragua.
Lâl Marandin and Matthieu Poulet accepted the National Energy Globe Award from the hands of Maneka Gandhi in the hall of the European Parliament, in Brussels (Belgium) on May 26th. During the event Lâl and Matthieu had the chance to meet President Gorbachev, Secretary General Kofi Annan, and European Parliament President Mr. Hans-Gert Pöttering.
The highlight of the event for blueEnergy came when Energy Globe Jury member Mr. Don Baker of the Foundation for Sustainable Development chose blueEnergy as the #1 example of Best practices for the American continent.
Former French President Jacques Chirac launched the "Chirac Foundation" on June 9th at the Quai Branly Museum auditorium, in Paris, France. One of the priorities of this newly formed institution is the protection of endangered languages around the world. blueEnergy Board Member and permanent insipiration, Mrs Colette Grinevald, was a keynote speaker during the event. Colette is a world famous linguist specializing in the documentation and rescue of indigenous languages, in particular in Brazil, Bolivia, Guatemala and Nicaragua, where she has been working on the Caribbean coast since 1984.
blueEnergy attended the event and met with several of the guests. The blueEnergy team in attendance was composed of blueEnergy France Board Members André-jean Guérin (French Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development), Maïté Niel, Lâl Marandin and Matthieu Poulet and blueEnergy France interns Solène and Olivia.
The event’s guests included : President Chirac, Nobel Prize winner (2002) Rigoberta Menchu Tum, French writer E. Orsenna, Photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and several former African Presidents and United Nations officials.
Visit by head united nations representative in Nicaragua
blueEnergy received a visit by a top-level United Nations delegation including Nicaragua’s head representative Mr. Alfredo Missair. The delegation visited blueEnergy’s workshop and office facilities to study its model for potential future replication on the Caribbean Coast and beyond. Mr. Missair called blueEnergy’s work "pioneering" and said blueEnergy’s work was "vital and in line with the Milleneum Development Goals".
Photon Consulting is a leading consulting company in the solar PV arena. Photon Consulting recently gave blueEnergy a general grant and placed blueEnergy at the center of fascinating industry-wide wager over solar PV production in the year 2010. From Michael Rogol of Photon Consulting:
Rogol’s monthly market commentary June, 2008: We are forecasting more than 25 GW of solar cell/module production in 2010. Nearly no one agrees with this outlook. If you disagree, let me suggest a bet:
If there is less than 25 GW of cell/module production in 2010, I will make a donation to blueEnergy, a non-profit organization dedicated to solar installations in developing countries. If there is 25 GW or more, those who take this bet will make a donation to RAG Foundation, an organization supporting, among others, German coal areas as they transition to post-coal times. To sign up to this bet, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The first operator training organized by blueEnergy took place in Nicaragua between the 6th and 10th of May. 13 operators from 4 communities gathered to learn all the secrets of the maintenance of their own community blueEnergy energy system.
The sustainability of blueEnergy hybrid systems rests in the hands of the community and of the operators that maintain the system. In this regard, this operator training was a big step for blueEnergy.
Prior to the course, a manual with the explanation of all the maintenance operations was made. Writing this operator manual was a challenge as blueEnergy had to adapt to the operators different levels of education, ranging from illiteracy to the primary school teacher. The first 0.1 beta version of the manual got printed just in time for the operator course. It contains as much explanatory drawings as possible as well as photo-sequences to explain different maintenance operations without too much need for reading the captions. The course in itself mimicked the operator manual by keeping the theory to the minimum and putting the emphasis on the practice.
Everyone in the blueEnergy team got involved to make this training a success. The local workers got recruited to teach the practical courses with the aim of creating stronger links between them, the long term blueEnergy staff, and the operators. The volunteers managed the theoretical courses requiring the most experience while the new team members joined the operators in their learning experience.
The training week finished with a mini-graduation ceremony. The vice director of INATEC, the technical high school system of Nicaragua, came to Bluefields in person to hand each participant an official certification. Indeed the whole course was done in agreement with INATEC so that the certification received at the end of the training is recognized nation wide.
At the end of these 5 intense days, the operators left Bluefields with a certification, a manual and a lot more knowledge useful for their whole community. But that was only the beginning. Other operator trainings are coming up. either on-site in the communities themselves or in Bluefields like this one. Always with the same aim: transferring as much knowledge as possible to the communities we service via their operators so they can develop in the most sustainable way possible.
Between the 4th of April and the 23rd, blueEnergy teams spent between one week and two weeks in Kahkabila and Set Net Point. This was the first time since the installations about one year ago that such big teams left for such a long time to these communities.
For the first time non blueEnergy people were joining the adventure. Three sociologists from the feminist department of the University URACCAN integrated into the sociological team of blueEnergy for the two weeks. Together they conducted two different studies: a diagnostic on the communities’ organizational capacities, for which the URACCAN women were the lead and a baseline survey on the energy needs and demand, for which the bE team was the lead. Both studies were conducted first in Kahkabila and then in Set Net, meaning that the surveyors spent two weeks on the field, with a night break in Pearl Lagoon in between.
Meanwhile, technical teams of blueEnergy carried out some follow up and maintenance on the systems. Those teams were composed of local technicians and international volunteers and switched in the middle of the trip, one being assigned to Kahkabila and the other one to Set Net Point. In both communities, they installed needed equipments for the energy system. They also organized on-site training for the members of the energy commission and interested members of the communities. In Kahkabila, a survey aiming at helping with the realization of the operators’ manual was conducted by the technical team. The logistics of a two weeks trip with a switch of teams in the middle was challenging. This gave the opportunity to define the procedures for organizing such logistics.
Water workshop In May, blueEnergy partnered with Canadian organization Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) to give a workshop on bio-sand water filtration technology in Bluefields, Nicaragua. Andrea Roach of CAWST led the workshop attended by blueEnergy technicians, local technicians, and university personnel. blueEnergy is launching it’s water purification initiative and this workshop represented the first step in this direction.
Plans have been set in motion for the design and construction of a “Centro Ecológico Regional Capacitación Ambiental” (CERCA) over the course of the next several years. The center will be built on the INATEC-IPCC campus in Bluefields and will house conference facilities, blueEnergy offices, sustainable systems and hospitality training facilities. At the same time, the building itself will provide a functional example of sustainable building and living practices and be entirely self-sufficient. The overall scheme will include wind and solar power, composting toilets, rainwater collection and purification, greywater treatment systems, natural lighting and ventilation. Over time, the same building principles will be utilized in the design and construction of CERCita structures in the outlying communities to house energy and water purification systems as well as doubling as shelter for volunteers and visiting experts.
New office space in Nicaragua
After a whirlwind set of meetings in Managua a few weeks ago, blueEnergy Nicaragua Director Guillaume Craig received permission from the INATEC head office to transform an unused classroom on the IPCC-INATEC campus in Bluefields into an office and conference room for blueEnergy’s use. At the same time, he was informed that the curriculum commission for all of INATEC would be arriving on June 16th to commence working in said office on a reorganization of INATEC’s energy curriculum. Having exactly two weeks to complete our renovations, we hit the ground running as soon as returning to Bluefields. Well, as soon as we got the key that is.
Over the course of nine days starting last Thursday, all the workers from the workshop and several volunteers worked around the clock to clean out, secure and refurbish a rundown classroom and bodega into a full office and conference room with adjoining kitchen and bathroom. We finished up the final touches around 12:30am on Sunday night and woke up to a beautiful new office in time for the arrival of INATEC’s curriculum commission.
French film makers David Guionet and Xavier Ballandras of Seven Art Productions were in Nicaragua in May to film for a new, full-length documentary on blueEnergy: it’s origins, programs and vision for the future. They were joined by sound-man Quentin, and spent three weeks interviewing blueEnergy team members and visiting community installations. The details for the release will be forthcoming.
Mentor education program
This summer blueEnergy has started its first mentorship education program, partnering with La Mesita, an NGO from New Mexico, as well as Grupo Fenix, an NGO based at the technical university in Managua. Two college students, one from a technical college in New Mexico and an electrical engineering student from the technical university in Managua will spend July and August working on projects in the blueEnergy workshop in Bluefields. The goal of this project is to provide college students the opportunity to participate and contribute to real world projects having positive impacts on peoples lives, as well as participate in the exciting cultural exchange that fuels blueEnergy’s work. The students will work with mentors in the workshop, and their learnings will culminate in a presentation made to the blueEnergy staff at the end of the program, integrating methods of oral and visual teaching appropriate for knowledge sharing among the varied educational levels of blueEnergy team members.
blueEnergy will also be installing its first standardized datalogging station on the workshop’s test tower, which will record meteorogical data concurrently with turbine power production. This marks an important step towards critically analyzing blueEnergy’s evolving turbine designs.
XII Feria de Energia Renovable y Vida Sostenible In April, a blueEnergy team led by volunteers Maxime Goursaud and Charles d’Argencé attended and presented at a major renewable energy fair in Managua hosted by Grupo Fenix, a solar energy nonprofit organization working in conjunction with the National Engineering University (UNI)
blueEnergy mourns the loss or community leader, visionary, Neuman Puchie
Neuman Puchie, leader of the community of Set Net, blueEnergy champion and person friend to us all, died unexpectedly while on a trip to the capital city of Managua. Just one week before, Puchie had captained a boat full of blueEnergy staff to the Pearly Keys to celebrate the successful water purification workshop. Puchie was the reason blueEnergy ever came to know the community of Set Net. He was often the captain that brought us there, the first to help unload the boat, the one to house the blueEnergy teams, and the first up in the morning making everyone coffee. He had a hand in every step of the blueEnergy project in Set Net and was the community champion.
The entire blueEnergy team was in shock at the news of his passing. Puchie will be sorely missed and the community of Set Net now has a mountain to climb to get back on its feet.
Tribute to miss Nora
In May, Colette Grinevald, famed linguist of the Rama language and blueEnergy Board Member, paid tribute to Miss Nora, the primary Rama language speeker that helped Colette in the documentation of the Rama language. Miss Nora passed away from cancer over five years ago. Events included a ceremony at the cemetery where Miss Nora is buried and on the island of Rama Cay, capital of the Rama peoples.
Miss Nora in Eugene, Oregon speaking about the Rama Language Project
Activities in France
• blueEnergy at the "Salon des Solidarités 2008"
- blueEnergy had a booth at this major nonprofit aid organization event in Paris; the booth was staffed by many former blueEnergy Nicaragua volunteers and was one of the most active booths at the entire event.
- While blueEnergy did not win the prize of the "Salon des Solidarités" (=5000€), the event was a tremendous networking success.
• Sunday, June 15th: Former volunteer in Nicaragua and active member of blueEnergy France, Adrien Ortelli, made a presentation of blueEnergy at the "Festival Mondial de la Terre" (World Festival of the Earth) in Bercy, Paris, France.
• blueEnergy begins program in Parisian schools to promote renewable energy: - Saturday May 24th: blueEnergy hosted a workshop at the Levassor school to build small model wind turbines that light up LED lights
- Saturday May 31st : blueEnergy took students of the Levassor school to visit a windturbine in Brittany, France
• Monday, June 9th: Rana, a consultant from business consulting company ENEA led a very creative, structured brainstorming session (method: "cadre logique") about the needs in Africa in order to frame the discussion of blueEnergy expansion into that continent.
• Maïté Niel on France Inter Radio
• Colette Grinevald was featured on Europe 1, Radio France International (RFI) and France Culture, with Maricela Kauffman, in may
• Solène Le Tallec and Olivia Lemerle have started 6 month internships with blueEnergy France
Telemundo visits blueEnergy in Bluefields... Associated Press visits blueEnergy in Bluefields...