Portfolio Partner Profile
Honduras Renewable Energy Financing Facility
Managed by Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy, a Canadian impact asset manager with professionals in Canada, Honduras, and Costa Rica, the Honduras Renewable Energy Financing Facility (H-REFF) focuses on strengthening renewable energy capabilities by providing financing for renewable energy projects in Central America. As economies in Central America have started growing at an increasing rate, dependence on fossil fuels for transportation and electricity has become unsustainably high. H-REFF will provide financing to projects that utilize solar, wind, biomass, biogas, and energy efficient technologies across Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. H-REFF will finance a dozen small-scale renewable energy project while creating thousands of new jobs in the region.
As CO2 emissions reduce in the region and more people see the expansion of existing sustainability efforts, H-REFF will continue to break down barriers in the renewable energy sector. In addition to delivering solid financial returns, Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy is committed to benefiting the communities where they work by generating meaningful and measurable environmental and social impacts that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Featured Impact Story
A 12.4 MW solar photovoltaic energy project
Panasolar is a 12.4 MW solar photovoltaic energy project in the Municipality of Aguadulce, Panama. The project was started by Enrico Desiata and Frances Rocca, an Italian couple, in 2012 and completed in 2019. Deetken Impact, through H-REFF, joined forces with Interamerican Corporation for Infrastructure Financing (CIFI) and played an instrumental role in completing the project, providing financial, technical, and socio-environmental expertise, as well as support to the corporate governance structure of the company. The project generated approximately 100 temporary jobs and will create 10 permanent jobs. Panasolar is expected to reduce 24,000 tons of CO2 annually and generate 19 GWh per year of clean energy.
Aside from the Panasolar poject, Mr. Desiata and Mrs. Rocca wanted to support the Municipality of Aguadulce in other ways. Aguadulce has a population of 9,000 people and the average family income is 5-10 USD per day. Mr. Desiata and Mrs. Rocca met with community leaders of the two nearest communities to the project site, Vista Hermosa and Llano Sanchez, to better understand their immediate needs. Based on these meetings, they decided to collaborate with the communities to construct a new well and water pumping system, along with a fence for the Llano Sanchez school. Panasolar provided materials for the well and pumping system, while the community provided labor. The community can now pump water for 8-10 hours each day; in the past, they were only able to pump for 3-4 hours a day.
Mrs. Luisa Torres, president of the community’s water committee, said the new pumping device has been “life changing for all of them.” Mr. Desiata and Mrs. Rocca also provided materials to install a fence for the Llano Sanchez school in order to ensure the safety of students and prevent robberies and vandalism of school property.
Panasolar has committed an annual budget to continue to support the most pressing needs of the communities of Vista Hermosa and Llano Sanchez. They will continue to work with community leaders on how these funds can best be utilized.
Photo courtesy of Panasolar.
Honduras Biomass Energy feeds the circular economy
Honduras Biomass Energy is an independent power producer based in Honduras that generates electricity from biomass waste products sourced from the local plywood and wood industry. Their “Los Pinos 1” biomass plant has a capacity of 3.0 MW and generates 4.4 GWh/yr preventing the emission of over 9,000 tons of CO2 per year. The power plant supplies both electricity and industrial heating to the adjacent plywood factory which in turns supplies waste biomass creating a circular economy for the region. More than 4.4 GWh of clean electricity has been generated per year, over 108,000 tons of CO2 diverted during investment period and HB Energy has generated over 30 direct jobs and over 90 indirect jobs in the region. It has also supported the employment of over 93 women in the adjacent plywood factory.
Photo courtesy of Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy.
Hydropower for Betulia
Betulia, a community located in the Department of Colon, Honduras, hosts the site of a renewable energy project funded by H-REFF and General Equipment Supply SA (GES). The Rio Betulia Hydroelectric Power Plant is a five-year run-of-the-river project that uses the water flowfrom the Betulia river for energy generation, providing renewable energy to local communities and strengthening local and regional electricity systems.
Like many places around the globe, the department of Colon has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the third highest number of infected people in the country. It is also one of the poorest regions in Honduras, as the majority of families live off subsistence fishing or agriculture. Due to stringent restrictions on movement imposed by the Honduran government, along with the spread of the virus in Colon, people are unable to work or travel to urban areas to sell their products and purchase inputs. As a result, Colon’s communities are extremely vulnerable and lack adequate access to food.
To address these problems, GES createda plan to increase their reach inlocal communities. Despite the difficulties of sourcing and transporting food supplies during this time, they sourced, purchased, and delivered basic food baskets to 170 families living in the area, benefiting more than 1,080 people. During the month of April, GES delivered food baskets with beans, rice, sugar, cornmeal, butter, pasta, salt, coffee, tomato sauce, soup, and laundry soap to the communities of Betulia, Samaria, La Fortuna, and Sapote, all located in the Betulia river basin. These donations allowed community members to comply with the social isolation rules, while stillhaving enough food to feed their families. Through H-REFF, Deetken Impact is proud to partner with companies that not only aim to create a positive social or environmental impact but continually support the evolving needs of the communities in which they operate.
Photo courtesy of General Equipment Supply.