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
  • Operational Partners
    Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante
& Design
& Equip
& Maintain
Build Health International

Project Description

Electricity in Haiti is rare and expensive. Only about 25% of Haitians 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. With this and a hospital’s need for consistent energy in mind, BHI constructed a solar power system to cover the Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais’ 200,000 square foot roof.

Unreliable electricity limits the operations of surgical and delivery wards, neonatal incubators, HVAC systems, refrigerated supply chains, and hospital communications. Poor electrical access could mean dangerous consequences for patient care. However, a self-sustained micro-grid like HUM solves the issue of reliability, 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 which means the upfront investment of $2.2 million will be recouped in less than six years.

This project was supported by a number of partners: the German company, Solon, supplied the 1,800 solar panels; Massachusetts-based Solectria manufactured the inverters; and engineers from Sullivan & McLaughlin trained Haitian electricians on installation and maintenance of the system. The system itself is designed in accordance with the lessons learned from BHI's extensive experience working in low-resource settings.