HILLSBORO, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Some 100,000 watts worth of SolarWorld’s high-performance solar panels have shipped out of Miami to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where they will be redeployed to five remote medical centers to reliably and affordably power medical gear, refrigeration and air conditioning, helping to bolster the island nation against disaster and disease.
The shipment of 440 230-watt Sunmodule® solar panels – equivalent to about 40 typical home systems – comprise the third round of equipment that SolarWorld, the biggest and most experienced U.S. crystalline silicon solar technology manufacturer, has provided to meet growing humanitarian needs in Haiti since before a calamitous earthquake rocked Haiti’s capital city nearly one year ago.
Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), a U.S. nonprofit that uses sustainable energy to aid developing communities, is managing the project to largely replace expensive, unreliable diesel generators at clinics of Partners in Health, an international medical relief organization. SolarWorld, SELF and PIH staged a similar project at a clinic in Boucain-Carré, Haiti, in 2009. After the Jan. 12 quake in Haiti, SolarWorld also provided nonprofit Water Missions International with panels for water-pumping stations there.
Preliminary site work at the PIH clinics is taking place. The panels are expected to arrive in Port-au-Prince in mid-December, then make their way to the project locations along various routes generally north of the capital beginning in late January. The clinics are located at La Colline, Arrondissement de Lascahobas, Thomonde, Petite Riviere and Verrettes. Installation work is expected to take place through spring.
“With the destruction of major medical facilities in Port-au-Prince, there is now greater reliance on rural health facilities,” said Robert Freling, executive director of SELF. “Some people have moved back to rural areas after the earthquake, resulting in a greater load on rural health centers and hospitals. The reliability of the clinics’ power is absolutely critical. SolarWorld’s panels offer the double benefit of providing clean, healthy power without fail for decades while also saving money otherwise spent buying scarce fuels and making machine repairs. In turn, the clinics apply the savings to answer the primary need: medical relief.”
Larry Hagman, the former star of the long-running TV series “Dallas,” helped foster the SolarWorld donation. The owner of the largest residential U.S. solar system, Hagman is a long-standing member of the SELF board and has provided testimonials for SolarWorld. “The people in Haiti urgently need help,” he said. “A power grid does not exist there anymore. Diesel supplies are expensive and unsafe. Solar energy is the most suitable source of energy to supply hospitals with electricity.”
SolarWorld, which operates in every significant solar market in the world, provides equipment donations through its Solar2World program. The program is dedicated to addressing energy poverty in the developing world, where some 2 billion residents are estimated to live without widely available electricity.
About SolarWorld (www.SolarWorld-USA.com): The SolarWorld group (ISIN: DE0005108401) is a worldwide leader in offering brand-name, high-quality, crystalline solar-power technology. Its strength is its fully integrated solar production. From silicon as the raw material through wafers, cells and modules all the way to turn-key solar systems of all sizes, the group combines all stages of the solar value chain. The central business activity is selling quality modules into the installation and distribution trades and crystalline wafers to the international solar cell industry. Group headquarters are located in Bonn, Germany. The group’s largest production facilities operate in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, Ore. Sustainability is the basis of the group strategy. Under the name Solar2World, the group supports care projects using off-grid solar-power solutions in developing countries, exemplifying sustainable economic development. Worldwide, SolarWorld employs about 3,300 people. SolarWorld AG has been quoted on the stock exchange since 1999 and today is listed on, among others, the TecDAX, ÖkoDAX, Dow Jones STOXX 600 as well as in the sustainability indices DAXglobal Alternative Energy and NAI.