Mazzetti successfully managed the design and installation of a 20 KW solar PV plant at Clinica de Familia in La Romana, Dominican Republic. This plant will offset the astronomical cost of electricity from the utility company, and when the produced energy is not needed by the clinic, it will be sold to the utility company to further offset operating costs.
Why does Mazzetti donate resources, time and money to these projects? We firmly believe every person on the planet should have access to quality healthcare. When a facility has high operating costs, the available funds, which always are limited, are diverted to these non-medical needs. A solar PV system helps reduce these costs having a positive impact on the available quality of care.
We have partnered with Project Hope, www.projecthope.org, as they provide medical care worldwide and have a network of medical facilities. The Project Hope team introduced us to Mina Halpern the medical director at Clinica de Familia. Mrs. Halpern had funding in place for a solar system, all she needed was an experienced group to run with the project and that we did. Based on the available roof area and electrical load, we determined a 20kW system would be appropriate for the site. Once the size was determined, we partnered with a local solar installation firm, Solutenco managed by Adrian Peguero. Mr. Peguero and his team completed the installation and the system was jointly commissioned by his staff and Mazzetti. One of the benefits of the chosen equipment is we can monitor the power produced on-line. The system updates every 15 minutes and will send an alarm if communication is interrupted. One can sit at their desk and see the production of the system and even know when a cloud is over the clinic.
The process was not immune to obstacles and challenges. Language was certainly at the top of the list, trying to read a technical quote originally written in Spanish and then run through an on-line English translation program proved to be interesting. Hopefully we actually have a 20 kW system! Construction techniques vary throughout the world, much restraint is needed not forcing unnecessary and costly US methods in a different land. Dealing with security issues and weather concerns generated a great deal of discussion. The dry season is long and the dust in the air is problematic to keeping to panels clean, scheduled cleaning is necessary to insure maximum output at all times.
So what is next? We have identified four additional sites in the Santa Domingo/La Romana area ready for a solar PV system. The preliminary designs are complete and the budgets have been established. We are seeking similar minded financial partners to help us move ahead in this quest to provide healthcare worldwide.