around my way: Anacostia Youth Build Solar Panels for Haiti


WDC Solar and ARCH Training Center in Washington D.C. have collaborated their abilities in Solar Power and Skills Training to bring much needed solar power to Haiti by building 5 portable solar panel systems, or ‘solar suitcases’.  During the week of March 1, these two organizations are producing solar suitcases that will travel to Haiti where they will be easily assembled to deliver immediate power to hospitals, orphanages and immediate care facilities. These suitcases have the ability to power a hospital giving needed assurance of a much safer level of patient care.  Because the panels are equipped with batteries, they will allow for facilities to provide power 24 hours a day. This will ensure support for surgeries and emergency care, as well as, needed electricity for communication and equipment that may include refrigeration essential to keep blood on hand where needed. These panels have the ability to be transitioned from a temporary location, to a final destination once rehabilitation is complete. The life-expectancy of each portable system is 20 years.

WDC Solar and ARCH Training Center are partners in bringing the first Solar Manufacturing Plant to D.C. and are currently building in Ward 8, Anacostia where both organizations are headquartered.  The actual facility is located at Shannon Place Southeast, D.C. ARCH Training Center’s students, some of which are about to begin formal solar installation training, will be building the suitcases along side WDC Solar founder and CEO, Mark Davis who will be an intricate part of the Solar Training program at ARCH.  “This is a great chance for the students at ARCH receiving an education to give back to Haiti while learning how to build these portable solar panels’, says Board Chair Rachael Schroeder, ‘the experience is a great jumping off point for the solar partnership ARCH and WDC Solar have created – renewable giving – through training, jobs and energy.”

More recently, the two groups decided to lend their expertise to the crisis in Haiti by recreating the ‘Solar Suitcase’ invented by We Care Solar of California. Laura Sachel, the founder of We Care Solar teamed up with WDC Solar to build several portable systems which have already been deployed to Haiti. We Care Solar has been part of WDC Solar and ARCH’s on-going professional solar installation training making this effort and future relief efforts a possibility.

The solar suitcase developed by We Care Solar, was originally invented to deliver much needed lifesaving power to hospitals in Africa. We Care Solar has been highly successful in their efforts.  The invention of the solar suitcases are continuing to provide; renewable energy, withstand conditions of poverty and unpredictable weather, lower the death rate of women and infants in Africa and are able to be mounted and remounted onto new buildings sustaining their 20 year lifespan and further proving their worth.

WDC Solar and ARCH Training Center are both located in downtown Anacostia in the 8th Ward of Washington, East of the Anacostia River. The two organizations are in the process of building a solar manufacturing plant that will bring new industry to the District, as well as create jobs in one of Washington D.C.’s highest rate areas for unemployment.

ARCH Training Center has been a part of Anacostia for over 20 years, providing jobs, job training, job placement and social services to the residents of the District. More information is available at

For more information Contact: Mark Davis, WDC Solar/ p) 202.560.5171/


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