Independent Solar Grid for Grand Fond Health Centre

by: - October 8, 2019
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The Grand Fond Health Centre was gifted a solar nanogrid that was commissioned on Friday, October 4th.

The nanogrid was funded by Direct Relief and customized by Sesame Solar. The collaboration was facilitated by the Waterfront and Allied Workers Union (WAWU).

Kertist Sugustus represented WAWU and said, “Besides the fundamental functions of the union which is representing its constituent membership, we feel that we have an additional responsibility and that is to contribute to the social and economic development of our country.”

Augustus revealed that the Princess Margaret Hospital was the first recipient of a previously-sourced nanogrid.

A nanogrid is a group of connected power sources and loads small enough to support an individual building or house.

It can operate indefinitely on its own and can quickly isolate itself if a disturbance destabilizes the larger grids to which they are normally connected. In the case of the solar nanogrid, it is independent of the island’s electricity grid.

The solar nanogrid medical unit for Grand Fond has been customized as a self-contained building is equipped with an office for nursing, medical, pharmacy or administrative staff with several outlets for charging phones, laptops and equipment solely from renewable solar energy.

The solar nanogrid was funded by Direct Relief- a non-profit health based organisation based in California.

Louis Rodriguez is Programme Specialist with Direct Relief.

He reported, “We’re now in 90 countries around the world responding to disasters and partnering with health centres and ministries of health throughout the world. Direct Relief has been supporting Dominica since 2015 after Tropical Storm Erika and we are continuing that support after Hurricane Maria. Like we told the Ministry of Health before, we are committed long term to the people of Dominica and the health sector.”

This is the second nanogrid for the Laplaine Health District.

Permanent Secretary in the Minister of Health and Social Services, Leticia Lestrade-Wyke, at the ceremony on Friday, said the move to climate resilience is boosted by this gift since it means a more reliable healthcare sector with uninterrupted service.

“As a Ministry, we try to focus on preventative measures and preparation. Preparation is of key importance in managing after disasters. Power supply is vital to ensure the safe delivery of care especially so that medication and vaccines requiring refrigeration are stored safely. Grand Fond was chosen as the health facility for the nanogrid because we are aware of how vulnerable this community is,” Wyke said.

The nanogrid also features a warehouse which holds a refrigerator for storing medicines and medical supplies.

There is an integrated rainwater filtration system capable of generating hundreds of gallons of potable water per day. The Sesame Solar Nanogrid is completely self-contained and self-sustaining and includes an integrated communication module, and a self-enclosed resilient design.