Source: Mercom India (https://mercomindia.com/patna-solar-powered-covid-care-facility/)
The 15 kW solar installation could reduce up to 58% of the hospital’s energy expenditure
Doctors For You (DFY), in collaboration with SELCO Foundation and Vistex Hospital, has set up a 50-bed solar-powered COVID-care hospital with support from the Government of Bihar at Masarhi in Patna.
Power for All, a global coalition of private and public organizations, said that the 15 kW solar installation was set up to ensure constant and reliable power supply for all medical care facilities at the hospital. It added that the hospital is 100% off-grid, and the usage of energy-efficient equipment has reduced the energy cost of the hospital up to 58%.
According to the press release, the 50-bed solar-powered hospital is equipped with an outpatient department (OPD), testing laboratory, in-patient care with intensive care units (ICU) facilities, and staff quarantine facilities.
SELCO Foundation is a Bangalore-based public charitable trust. DFY and SELCO Foundation are part of the Powering Health coalition, a collaboration of various organizations from the healthcare and energy sectors in India to enhance sustainable energy supply to public healthcare facilities in rural India.
“We were able to make the complete center using materials and medical appliances that are energy-efficient, and solar power is more affordable. This can be replicated in any part of the country or the world,” said Harish Hande, CEO of SELCO Foundation.
The Council on Energy, Environment, and Water had found in a study that solar-powered primary healthcare centers in Chhattisgarh had admitted over 50% more patients and had conducted almost twice the number of child deliveries in a month compared to power-deficit centers that lacked a solar system.
Maintaining an uninterrupted power supply for healthcare facilities during times of crisis like this is crucial for saving lives.
On a related note, Nigeria recently saw nationwide solar installations at emergency health facilities related to the COVID-19 pandemic response. Many off-grid companies in Nigeria realized early that solar companies would have to play a critical role toward the COVID-19 response by providing solar power to health centers and ensuring that the testing facilities were not hampered by the lack of electricity.
The African Union Commission and the International Renewable Energy Agency recently agreed to work together to promote renewable energy across the continent and bolster Africa’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.