Syrian Hospital Goes Solar, More to Follow
- May 30, 2017
During the six years of conflict, major sections of the electrical grid in Syria were destroyed, making hospitals dependent on diesel generators. Now, after months of testing and monitoring and 10 weeks of installation, the “Syria Solar” initiative has launched. The 480-panel pilot project is the first of its kind in Syria and was created to stabilize electricity in hospitals in Syria.
“We believe that this type of projects brings hope. Solar energy is a democratizing force that has the capacity to empower institutions and communities in very positive ways. Syria is in one of the best regions globally to harvest solar energy and needs to be leveraged. During the project implementation, restructuring the hospital electrical network and working through the winter to deploy the technically complex system, were our greatest challenges. The goal now is to empower the health system by scaling the solar project to at least five other critical hospitals. Our dream is to see every medical facility in Syria running on clean, sustainable energy,” Tarek Makdissi, project director, UOSSM Syria Solar Initiative, said in prepared remarks.
The solar photovoltaic array has a capacity of 127 kWp DC power, 288 batteries capable of storing 720 kWh of power and an advanced data control system. The project is anticipated to save on average 1,850 gallons (7,000 liters) of diesel per month, which amounts to approximately 20-30 percent of the monthly energy cost of the hospital. The system will be able to fully power the ICU, operating rooms and emergency departments during diesel outages.
The pilot project proved to be a success, which led to new plans being drafted to deploy solar systems in five more vulnerable medical facilities in Syria. Union des Organisations de Secours et Soins Médicaux (UOSSM) has already started raising funds.
“This project is a symbol of hope for the Syrian people. We wanted to show the world that Syrians still believe in a brighter future and embrace positivity and progress. Most of the electrical infrastructure in Syria was either bombed, dismantled or destroyed. Hospitals depend on diesel generators and are vulnerable to outages and price surges. Incubators, respirators and other lifesaving equipment need stable access to power. Many patients have died from simple power outages. The solar project was desperately needed. I am overjoyed that the project is running at full capacity and saving lives,” added Dr. Anas Al Kassem, chairman of UOSSM – Canada & war surgeon.
Image & video courtesy of UOSSM