Princeton-based NRG Energy announced it is installing an advanced solar power system at Hospital Bernard Mevs, in Port-au-Prince, as it continues its effort to provide reliable energy to Haiti.
Work begins this week on the project, which is designed to help provide reliable power at the hospital, in order to allow physicians to better care for islanders. The work is expected to be complete by next week.
David Crane, president and CEO of NRG Energy, has played an ongoing role in bringing solar power to Haiti.
"This will help provide better, more reliable access to health care at a clinic by combining power from the grid with more affordable, cleaner and reliable solar power," he said. "We see this program is already improving the lives of thousands of people who have gained access to the regular supply of electricity for the first time in their lives."
The 2010 earthquake that devastated the island damaged 60 percent of Haiti's health care facilities, destroying four hospitals. The new 100-kilowatt solar system will include a battery storage system to help provide power 24 hours a day. It will significantly offset the need for diesel-powered electricity, which is now costing the hospital about $60,000 each month. The savings will be used to expand patient care.
The extra electrical capacity will also save money by protecting sensitive medical equipment from damage by regular power surges, and use of the cleaner energy source will help reduce pollution.
NRG's solar power project is made possible through a partnership with the Clinton Foundation, along with SMA, Unirac and Sunora Energy Solutions — all manufacturers of solar technology.
Hospital Bernard Mevs was established in 2010 by Project Medishare, a health care organization founded at the University of Miami that has provided doctors, nurses and equipment to clinics in Haiti for 15 years. The hospital, which features two operating rooms, an emergency room, medical laboratory, adult and pediatric intensive care units, and a spinal cord injury center, employs more than 150 Haitians.