In May, the Institute of the Americas (IOA) and the State Energy Commission of Baja California signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a project aimed at eradicating energy poverty throughout the state.
The Energy Commission and the IOA have embarked on a series of steps and actions as part of the broader implementation roadmap. Specifically, a pilot project will be developed in Ensenada, most likely starting with a community in the municipality of San Quintin, close to the coast. The location was chosen because it has homes with many of the diverse characteristics found throughout the state. The community has rural and urban areas, homes with technical and economic limitations, and homes without title deeds. More than forty percent of the homes in Baja California without electricity live in properties without clear legal rights. Therefore, the energy access implementation program must include the legalization of properties.
Participation of local and international stakeholders in the implementation efforts are critical for the success of the program. We have organized a stakeholder working group that includes housing, energy, and economic development agencies, technical experts, NGOs and interested parties that can contribute to the effort. The group will be divided in two: one group will be tasked with formulating plans to electrify homes and the other will develop a pathway for regularization and establishing property rights. The groups will work in parallel, ensuring that every home gains access to electricity.
The pilot project will help both groups overcome challenges, improve processes, document lessons learned, and gain experience to create a blueprint that can be applied to other communities in the state. The goal is to maximize community involvement to ensure that no family in Baja California is left out of the benefits afforded by access to electricity in their homes. The project in San Quintin will become a replicable model for energy inclusion in other states of Mexico and perhaps even other countries in the Americas.