Hospital Wesleyan de La Gonave
WHI is working with the Wesleyan Mission in Haiti to make sure that the power at the hospital becomes reliable, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly at long last. When the new LaGonâve Wesleyan Hospital (Hopital Wesleyan de La Gonâve) was built in the city of Anse-à-Galets on the Haitian island of LaGonâve following the earthquake in 2010, a generous donor gifted the hospital with a substantial solar system array. In a recent evaluation, it was determined that the basic controllers were still functional, but repairs were needed to some of them and the batteries were running at less than half capacity. Engineers recommended the control system be repaired and upgraded; the number of solar panels be doubled, and that a change is made in the kind of solar storage – going from lead-acid batteries to Tesla wall units, which are much more effective and virtually maintenance-free. Bonus: they will also perform better in the Caribbean heat. These improvements will enable the hospital to finally achieve energy independence for at least the next 10 years and, with the generator (currently operating at least 50% of every day when fuel is available) being relegated to actual emergency-use only, the carbon footprint of the hospital will be virtually eliminated. The 100,000 people who live on the island have no other access to the kind of medical resources the hospital provides. They would have to take a 12 mile trip across the sea in unsafe boats followed by at least 2 hours overland by bus or taxi (if affordable) to a hospital that may or may not receive them—and that’s if they were able to pay to get off the island in the first place. LaGonâve Wesleyan Hospital never turns anyone away – but it is only as effective as the power that it runs on. The hospital continues to provide life-saving medical care to the inhabitants of LaGonâve every day and many children take their first breath there.