Press Release: Groundbreaking Project Provides Solar Power For Hospitals And Saves Lives In Syria
Gaziantep, Turkey- UOSSM launches the ‘Syria Solar’ Initiative on May 29, 2017, after 10 weeks of installation and months of testing and monitoring. The 480-panel pilot project is the first of its kind in Syria, and was designed to stabilize electricity in hospitals in Syria. UOSSM installed 480 solar photovoltaic panels with a capacity of 127 kWp DC power, 288 batteries capable of storing 720kWh of power, and advanced data control systems. After six years of conflict, major sections of the electrical grid in Syria were destroyed making hospitals dependent on diesel generators. Frequent shortages of diesel jeopardized patient lives and skyrocketed the price of diesel fuel.
The project is expected to save over 7,000 liters of diesel per month on average. This amounts to approximately 20-30% of the monthly energy cost of the hospital. The system can fully power the ICU, operating rooms and emergency departments during diesel outages. With the success of the pilot project, plans are drafted to deploy solar systems in five more vulnerable medical facilities in Syria. UOSSM is currently soliciting funding partners for upcoming ‘funding ready’ projects. Renewable energy for those critical facilities will increase the resilience of the health-system in Syria, empower local communities, and help terminate the vicious cycle of the diesel-based war economy.
“We believe that this type of projects brings hope. Solar energy is a democratizing force, that has the capacity to empower institutions and communities in very positive ways. Syria is in one of the best regions globally to harvest solar energy, and needs to be leveraged. During the project implementation; restructuring the hospital electrical network, and working through the winter to deploy the technically complex system, were our greatest challenges. The goal now is to empower the health system by scaling the solar project to at least five other critical hospitals. Our dream is to see every medical facility in Syria running on clean, sustainable energy.” Said Tarek Makdissi, Project Director- UOSSM Syria Solar Initiative.
“In our department, we have a total of 6 incubators. Electricity is critical for the functioning of these incubators. Electricity must be available continuously without shut down or cut-offs. Even if the electricity was to shut down for half an hour, it can cause severe problems. Children in incubators need a constant temperature.” Said Mohamad Dirbas, UOSSM Neonatal Nurse
“This project is a symbol of hope for the Syrian people. We wanted to show the world that Syrians still believe in a brighter future and embrace positivity and progress. The majority of the electrical infrastructure in Syria was either bombed, dismantled or destroyed. Hospitals depend on diesel generators and are vulnerable to outages and price surges. Incubators, respirators and other life saving equipment need stable access to power. Many patients have died from simple power outages. The solar project was desperately needed. I am over joyed that the project is running at full capacity and saving lives. Said Dr. Anas Al Kassem, Chairman of UOSSM- Canada and War Surgeon
*Hospital name concealed for the protection of the staff and the facility.
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Syria Solar Project Overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLD-7Ii_SrwjpGv0vLmyGfFg92tJAWfJEK&v=1y23Bi_3jfw