Washington, United States — The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) today announced that SolarWorld has awarded SELF an in-kind grant of solar panels totaling 100 kilowatts to support the solar electrification of five health clinics for Partners In Health (PIH) in Haiti. The clinics, operated by Zanmi Lasante (ZL), are located in the remote mountain highlands of Haiti and do not have access to the electric grid.
In the aftermath of the January earthquake in Port-au-Prince, the facilities have experienced a rise in demand for health-care services, countered by dangerous fluctuations in fuel supplies needed to operate their generators. SELF completed the first 10 kW solar-diesel hybrid system for ZL at a clinic in Boucan Carré, Haiti, in September 2009. PIH reports monthly fuel costs have since declined by 64 percent. In response to the recent disaster, PIH asked SELF to accelerate its timeline to provide solar energy systems to nine remaining PIH/ZL-run clinics in Haiti.
“We were very pleased to have been chosen by SolarWorld as a grant recipient. This very generous support will go a long way to saving lives by providing the clinics with a stable, 24-hour power supply, and at the same time it will help PIH reduce their operating expenses,” said Robert Freling, SELF’s executive director.
SolarWorld’s Solar2World program makes contributions to regional development in impoverished communities throughout Africa. Since 2008, Solar2World’s solar energy grants have supported a water pumping project in South Africa, a computer training center in Uganda, a hospital in Eastern Congo, a vocational training center in Rwanda, an HIV/AIDS orphanage in Malawi, and more.