Hospital Lumiere, a primary care and medical-surgical facility located in Bon Fin, Haiti will now get its electricity from the sun, thanks to a new 50 kilowatt (kW) solar array with a battery backup system totaling 84 kW of electricity thanks to a donation from SolarWorld installed by Pennsylvania’s Smucker’s Energy. The recently announced project will replace the hospital’s former reliance on hydroelectric and diesel generators, helping to reduce maintenance cost and prevent power disruptions that undermine patient treatment.
Hospital Lumiere, the “Hospital of Light”, is in the mountains—5 and a half hours away from the capital by vehicle. The 120-bed hospital serves 60,000, often accommodating patients who travel across Haiti seeking care that they can’t find locally. The hospital provides medical services regardless of patents’ religious faith or ability to pay.
The new system is provided through SolarWorld’s Solar2World program, which provides clean solar power for community-oriented, rural electrification projects in developing countries.
“Six years after the earthquake, the people of Haiti still need a lot of help,” said Mukesh Dulani, president of SolarWorld Americas Inc. However, SolarWorld began providing solar panels to Haitian hospitals even before that disaster struck in January 2010. “Our donated solar panels are now powering at least five hospitals in Haiti, demonstrating the clean power of solar to generate electricity for what should be clean, quiet and safe care facilities.”
The solar and battery backup system was designed and installed by Lancaster, PA’s Smucker’s Energy. “Helping those in need is a family tradition; being a family business, it’s something we’ve done with Smucker’s Energy from the start,” said John Smucker, president Smucker’s Energy. “I’ve been to Haiti several times, and the need there is great.…We wanted to provide this charitable install with the same high-quality solar modules we use in the states, and SolarWorld helped make that happen.” The company provided its services at cost with a volunteer crew and reduced engineering cost. SolarWorld distributor Civic Solar also supplied engineering support and major components at reduced cost as well.
Other U.S companies have also donated solar arrays to help Haiti revitalize its villages. For instance, last April NRG Energy donated arrays to two Haitian non-profit organizations: Les Centres GHESKIO in Port au Prince and Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods in Cap-Haïtien. Each organization received a 20 KW system, which now provides 70 percent and 100 percent of their respective energy needs.Tweet