The Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) now has a solar powered Nanogrid, which has the potential to enhance emergency responses in the event of a natural disaster.
Sesame Solar Inc. donated the gird worth one hundred and fifty thousand US dollars (US$150, 000) to the Princess Margaret Hospital on Friday 1 June 2018.
Sesame Solar Inc., which is a worldwide provider of turnkey and mobile solar nanogrid, partnered with the Waterfront and Allied Workers Union (WAWU) to provide the self-contained off-grid power supply to the Hospital.
Following Hurricane Maria, WAWU requested assistance from the International Trade Union Confederation for some form of electrification in order that its work could continue.
In the process, the Confederation contacted Sesame Solar which agreed to donate this nanogrid to WAWU.
“But of course that was too big for us, and we didn’t have a location to put it,” WAWU’s Secrretary/Treasurer, Kertist Augustus stated during the handing over ceremony.
After discussions with various ministries, it was decided that the donation would go to the Ministries of Health and Education.
“Following further discussions, it was felt that the hospital would do much better with this nanogrid, so therefore we held discussions with the Ministry of Health, and since Sesame Solar was also interested in providing some assistance to schools, we contacted also the Ministry of Education,” Augustus informed.
The solar power supply is fully integrated inside an ISO shipping container, and can be easily transported to meet the need for off-grid solar power solutions, and is ideal for disaster recovery, industrial and military applications.
“We at WAWU, we are indeed very pleased; we now have this nanogrid that could be used by the Ministry of Health, and more so the Princess Margaret Hospital, in the event that there is any blackout, and then they could utilize the nanogrid to power up the hospital,” Augustus said.
He noted that the donation is an extension of WAWU’s responsibility in Dominica as it is interested in helping to develop the country.
“This event is a tangible reflection of the forms of assistance that the union can in fact negotiate and sometimes receive and it is going to redound to the benefit of Dominica,” Augustus added.
Meanwhile Vice President of Sesame Solar Inc., Jose Juan Garrigo stated that the donation came about with the help of many people in his organization as well as many other organizations that came onboard to assist.
“This solar nanogrid allows them to be mobile, allows them to be a perfect solution for when it is a disaster and not only when it is a disaster, but after the disaster,” Garrigo said.
After a disaster, Garrigo explained, the nanogrid can assist the hospital in being able to communicate and to know what to do in the case of an emergency.
Garrigo added that because of the grid’s mobility and design, it can be used for multiple purposes; “as a classroom, it can be used as an office, and I understand that the hospital is going to use it to connect the network communications for disaster services, but it can be used for many other applications”.