NRG Energy and the Clinton Foundation have completed the first project under a new partnership to bring more solar power to Haiti. The project was a 100 kilowatt PV array with battery storage that was installed at Hospital Bernard Mevs. The hospital is, according to NRG, one of the only trauma, critical care and rehabilitation hospitals in Haiti.
"Bernard Mevs is the only hospital in Haiti with neonatal, pediatric and adult ICUs equipped with life-saving ventilators and life support technology, requiring a reliable source of power,” explained Dr. Barth Green, president and co-founder of Project Medishare. This solar energy helps guarantee the safety of our precious Haitian neighbors afflicted with catastrophic injuries and diseases while in the care of our Bernard Mevs colleagues."
The hospital treats more than 10,000 patients annually and the solar array as well as the battery storage system, will reduce the hospital’s reliance on an unstable, expensive electric grid. As such, it could help ensure that essential, life-saving equipment isn’t at risk of losing power in the middle of an operation.
"This partnership will help to ensure the talented physicians at this critical health care facility will have the reliable electricity and affordable grid independence they need to provide quality health care services to all patients," said David Crane NRG President and CEO.
“The Caribbean has an enormous solar resource and it's also is probably the most expensive place on earth to bring fossil fuels, which is where most of the electricity in the Caribbean comes from oil and it’s very expensive,” Crane said. “We can install solar on the roof of this hospital and make electricity for about one-third of the price of the alternative which is diesel-fired generators.”
In fact, Clinton Foundation Policy Advisor Gregory Milne said that the cost of diesel for generators at the hospital was over $60,000 a month. Since the grid wasn’t always a reliable source of well-maintained electricity, it caused failures in medical equipment, adding further expenses to the hospital.
NRG previously partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative in 2012 to install solar arrays at 20 schools, two fish farms, two community enterprise centers. This continues that work. “This project is a first step in our new partnership with the Clinton Foundation, and the participation of our solar technology partners will help us, together, advance NRG's broader corporate strategy to alleviate energy poverty and promote cleaner energy solutions."
The partnerships were made to help Haiti recover from the earthquake of 2010, which left the impoverished nation devastated. "The Clinton Foundation is continuing to support Haiti's long-term recovery efforts and sustainable development by expanding clean energy infrastructure," said Clinton Foundation CEO Bruce Lindsey.
The Clinton Foundation and NRG also received donated material support from SMA which supplied inverters; Unirac, which provided racking for the four roofs; Trina Solar, which provided the moduels; and Sunora Energy Solutions, which provided EPC services for the hospital. The work was done by volunteers.