HOMER® Energy: Rebuilding Haiti’s Health Infrastructure with Renewable Energy

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HOMER Energy is providing consulting services and the HOMER energy modeling software to design hybrid renewable energy systems for Haitian hospitals and rural health clinics.

The HOMER software shows how hybrid systems - with storage or renewables or both - can overcome the lack of a reliable grid at lowest cost.

HOMER Energy is partnering with the US Agency for International Development and TetraTech on a project to provide reliable power for for rural health clinics in Haiti, starting with seven health clinics and hospitals. The work is part of an worldwide USAID initiative called “Powering Health,” which HOMER Energy has been supporting for five years. The company will use the HOMER software to design hybrid renewable energy systems that integrate batteries, diesel engines and solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

In “Powering Health” for Haiti, engineers will create new HOMER models for a range of Haitian health facilities and demonstrate technically and financially optimal system designs. HOMER Energy CEO Peter Lilienthal says, “The HOMER software shows how hybrid systems - with storage or renewables or both - can overcome the lack of a reliable grid at lowest cost.” Haiti has always been challenged by an unreliable electric grid, and the devastating earthquake in January 2010 inflicted new damages.

Rural health clinics in developing countries such as Haiti are experiencing new demands for reliable electricity due to improvements in the availability of vaccines and the urgency of providing services to HIV-positive patients. Haiti has one of the worst HIV infection rates in the world. Vaccines and the antiretroviral drugs needed for HIV treatments are "cold chain-dependent," requiring constant refrigeration and a reliable source of electricity.

As part of the project, HOMER Energy will update its online “Powering Health” tool, an interactive version of HOMER that is customized for modeling the energy requirements of rural health clinics. The online tool makes it easy for non-engineers to plan hybrid renewable energy systems by providing preset values for the electrical requirements of essential medical equipment such as x-ray machines, microscopes, sterilization ovens, centrifuges, refrigerators and water purification kits.

Striking the most populated area of the country, Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake in January 2010 destroyed much of Haiti’s infrastructure including hospitals and health clinics, electrical power and telecommunications systems. While over 300,000 people died, another 300,000 were injured and one million lost their homes, putting additional stress on Haiti’s already limited health care system.

To learn more about “Powering Health” and view the interactive HOMER tool please visit http://tools.poweringhealth.org.

About HOMER Energy:
HOMER Energy supplies software and consulting services to the rapidly growing international distributed renewable energy market, forecast to be $80 billion by 2014. In 2009, HOMER Energy received a license from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to be the exclusive commercialization agent enhancing, supporting, and distributing the HOMER software worldwide. HOMER has been downloaded by over 50,000 people and is used by governments, the military, utilities, energy systems integrators, and non-profit organizations to design hybrid power systems. HOMER is well-suited to analyzing diverse distributed energy applications including grid-tied hybrid renewable microgrids, or situations where the grid is insufficiently reliable - such as islands and remote communities. HOMER Energy is a privately held company located in Boulder, Colorado. For more information about HOMER and to download the software, please visit http://www.homerenergy.com


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Marilyn Walker
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