Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Solar Hospital: This is the Vision. This is the Goal.

The final architectural drawings have been completed for a sorely-needed hospital for La Gonave. It will have 44 inpatient beds, a 4-bed emergency room, and two surgery suites.  The Scottish charity, Lemon Aid, founded by my good friend and partner-in-charity, Justin Dowds, has come up with the the money for the hospital, enough to say it's a go.  We'll be breaking ground this Spring!

But let me take this one step farther.  I've been gathering some information...

I have learned that the costs of running the beastly diesel generators to provide power for the hospital is over $50,000 PER YEAR.  (The fuel alone cost $39,498 last year!).

Knowing that the cost of solar energy systems have improved over the past years, we have consulted with an electrical engineer who has vast experience with remote, third world hospitals.  And we have learned that, in fact, a SOLAR-POWERED hospital is feasible.

Friends, I have spent much time crunching the numbers and can tell you that not only is going solar feasible, it's the right thing to do.  It will move our hospital toward full sustainability, which is an important feature Starfysh looks for in considering project worthiness.  Our goal is to develop La Gonave in ways that do not require them to be indefinitely propped up from the outside.

Long story short... the up front capital investment needed for a solar energy system that will provide all the electrical needs of the hospital and take it totally "off grid":  $140,000.

May sound like alot, but consider this:  current energy needs are currently costing $50,000 per year.  So solar will pay for itself in just 3 years.  The total yearly cost of running on sun-power is $5,800 ($3,600 maintenace labor + $2,200 depreciation expense).

The pictures you see here are the behemoth diesel-guzzling, smoke-coughing, generators currently powering our hospital.  I say it's time to euthanize them.

We are developing fact-sheets for the solar project.  If anyone wants a copy let me know.  I could use help raising money for this.

A hospital powered by sunshine. This is the vision. This is the goal.

We can do this.

1 comment:

Charles McNair said...

Hi Steve, You might consider a hybrid solar and biogas system . As I've posted on FB , the Brazilian NGO VIVA RIO , in partnership with Canada and Norway have 50 such systems now in Haiti . This provides an answer for the human waste treatment question , also.


Charles McNair