Solar Electric Light Fund Completes Installation of 12 Solar Systems to Power Health Care Facilities in Haiti
Will help to improve the quality of medical services provided to more than 170,000 Haitians by powering lights, microscopes, centrifuges, autoclaves, vaccine refrigerators and other lifesaving equipment
May 31, 2012 -- Washington, D.C.
The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit
working to eliminate energy poverty through the use of solar power, today
announced the successful installation of solar electric systems at 11 health
care facilities and one hospital along the southwest coast of Haiti. Through
collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the
Government of Haiti, the systems, with a combined power output of just over
38 kW, will help to improve the quality of medical services provided to more
than 170,000 Haitians by powering lights, microscopes, centrifuges,
autoclaves, vaccine refrigerators and other lifesaving equipment.
Almost immediately after the systems were made fully operational a host of
benefits were being seen, including a birth at night. In addition, one of
the clinics is now saving money from no longer having to purchase and
transport the fuel previously needed to power a vaccine refrigerator, since
it is now connected to the solar system on site.
"A doctor cannot be expected to perform lifesaving surgeries at night
without lights or power for medical equipment," said Bob Freling, SELF's
Executive Director. "Now, through the provision of reliable solar power,
doctors can treat patients at night, diagnose patients any time, and provide
vaccines to patients in need - all while saving money by decreasing or
eliminating the need for diesel fuel."
The long-term operation of these installations relies on the routine
maintenance needed to ensure each system is operating at maximum
performance, so SELF hired and trained eight local technicians to maintain
the systems at all the sites. They will also train energy managers and
medical staffs on how to operate and monitor each clinic's system on a daily
"The sustainability of our systems is critical to all of our projects,"
said Freling. "In a country continuing to rebuild, it is our responsibility
to not only invest in and implement effective energy technologies, but we
must also invest in its people."
SELF's partnership with the IDB and the Government of Haiti began in
2010 with plans to install solar streetlights at two transition camps in
Port-au-Prince. In 2011, SELF successfully installed 68 solar powered
streetlights in the tent camp of Caradeux, managed by Operasyon Men Nan Men,
and 32 solar streetlights in Petionville Club, managed by the J/P Haitian
Relief Organization, a nongovernmental organization founded by Sean Penn.
The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit
whose mission is to implement solar energy solutions to assist those living
in energy poverty with economic, education, health and agricultural
development. Its Whole Village Development Model takes an innovative
approach to designing and implementing integrated solar systems to improve
the lives of the 1.5 billion people living in worldwide energy poverty.
Since 1990, SELF has completed projects in more than 20 countries,
pioneering unique applications of solar power for drip irrigation in Benin,
health care in Haiti, telemedicine in the Amazon rainforest, online learning
in South Africa, and microenterprise development in Nigeria. Connect with
SELF on the web at www.SELF.org