The Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) and the people of Dominica, in general, have benefited from the donation of a self-contained off-grid solar power supply to be used in an event of a natural disaster or blackout.
The donation of the Sesame Solar Nanogrid amounting to US$150,000 was made by Sesame Solar Inc., with the help of its donation partners SimpliPHI Power, Outback Power and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
The unit was originally donated to the Waterfront and Allied Workers Union (WAWU) but the union realized it was too big and decided to explore other possibilities for its use.
“The following day after Hurricane Maria, we from the WAWU recognizing that we had no electricity to continue our work, we requested from our international assistance in terms of providing some form of electrification for the office so that the work will continue,” President of WAWU Keritiste Augustus explained during handing over ceremony held at the PMH grounds on Friday. “In the process, the International Trade Union Confederation contacted Seasame Solar and they agreed that they would donate this Nanogrid to us, that is the Waterfront, but of course that was too big for us and we didn’t have a location to put it.”
He continued, “We explored first with Mr. (Benoit) Bardouille the possibility of the utilization of this Nanogrid and again following further discussion it was felt that the hospital would do much better with this Nanogrid, so, therefore, we held discussions with the Ministry of Health and since Sesame Solar was also interested in providing some assistance to schools, then we contacted also the Ministry of Education.”
Augustus said the members at WAWU are very pleased with the donation.
“We now have this Nanogrid that could be used by the Ministry of Health and more so the Princess Margaret Hospital in the event that there is any blackout, then they could utilize the facility,” he stated.
He pointed out that the donation is an extension of WAWU’s responsibility in Dominica.
“We are interested in helping to develop our country and any forms that we are able to provide, we provide…,” he explained.
Vice President of Sesame Solar, Jose Juan Garrigo said the Solar Nanogrid is a perfect solution in times of disaster.
“Each one is designed and developed for a particular need,” he stated. “It can be used for multiple purposes.”
Meantime, Education Minister Petter Saint Jean said the donation is “timely” and “significant.”
“Timely because there is a dire need for us as a nation to prepare for natural disasters and not just hurricanes. Coming from Hurricane Maria that taught not only Dominica but the region and the world some serious lessons, the need to be ever ready,” he noted.
On behalf of the Ministry of Education, government and the people of Dominica, Saint Jean ensured that the unit will serve the intended purpose and, will be put to good use.
The unit was constructed out of a container and Saint Jean said also that he was really flabbergasted when he got on site and realized this.
“I did not recognize that this was a container until I came to the rare part of what is the front of the unit and I was startled…,” he remarked. “This is a container that was transformed in such a way that one would not be able to tell just by looking at it.”
A donation of school supplies was also made to the Jones Beaupierre Primary School in La Plaine.
The Sesame Solar Nanogrid was shipped with a pre-configured, energy-independent, Disaster Recovery Office Inside for emergency power, medical and employment applications.
Sesame Solar makes ready-to-use, Nanogrid Solutions for off-grid use. The turnkey, Solar Nanogrids are pre-configured with Solutions Inside and setup in less than 15 minutes. Designed for off-grid power, mobile office, disaster recovery, educational, agricultural, industrial and military applications, very little training and maintenance are required. Sesame Solar Nanogrid Solutions are manufactured from ISO shipping containers, and can be easily transported by truck, train, ship, or helicopter for use anytime, anywhere. Backed by private investors, Sesame Solar Solutions are made in Michigan, USA.