Build Health International

Project Introduction

Electricity in Haiti is sporadic and expensive - two factors that could compromise patient care at healthcare facilities such as Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais. To overcome this challenge, Build Health International designed and installed a 1,800 panel solar system to cover HUM’s 200,000 square foot facility - making HUM the largest solar powered hospital in the Caribbean. This system means that HUM is an independent micro-grid, saving $379,000 each year, and even feeding electricity into Haiti’s national grid.

Build Health International

Project Information

  • Solar Panels
    1,800
  • Operational Partners
    Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante
Plan
& Design
Build
& Equip
Operate
& Maintain
Build Health International

Project Description

Electricity in Haiti is rare and expensive. Only about 25% of Haitian have access to a sporadic electricity grid and those that do pay upwards of 35 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to the US average of 12 cents. Considering these facts and a hospital’s need for consistent energy, BHI constructed a solar power system to cover Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais’ 200,000 square foot roof.

Sporadic electricity limits the operations of surgical and delivery wards, neonatal incubators, HVAC systems, the refrigerated supply chain, and hospital communications. Poor electrical access yields dangerous consequences for patient care. A self-sustained micro-grid like HUM solves the issue of consistency, cost, and even has the capability of feeding electricity into Haiti’s national grid. Using solar power slashes $379,000 from the hospital’s annual operating costs; the upfront investment of $2.2 million will be recouped in less than six years.

Many partners supported this project: German company Solon supplied the 1,800 solar panels, Massachusetts-based Solectria manufactured the inverters, and engineers from Sullivan & McLaughlin trained Haitian electricians how to install and maintain the system. The system itself is designed with BHI’s proven attention to building systems that function with the resources available, for example in a rural Haitian town like Mirebalais.