The Management of Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) Orthopedic Hospital has installed a US$1.5 million solar plant – a move that is going to completely take the facility off the national grid.
The plant, engineered and installed by SunPower, comes with more than 2,400 solar panels and a megawatt hour (1MWH) lithium-ion phosphate battery capacity system, making it the largest hospital solar installation in Africa.
Professor Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, Founder and President of the Hospital, said apart from helping to reduce its electricity bill, there was the added high point of environmental-friendliness.
What this meant, was that in the long-term, the facility would be able to offer services to more patients, he added.
"With the changes in the climate, it is time we consider other sources of power which protect the environment, and solar is the way to go. Looking at how much we will be saving financially, as a non-profit hospital we could not have asked for a better option".
He said their mission was to provide comprehensive, affordable orthopedic care to those "who will not otherwise have access to such treatment.
"The cases we treat are among some of the most severe in the world—many that no other team of surgeons would dare touch."
Mr. Ernest Amissah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SunPower Innovations, said the panels would generate enough power within the day to feed into the load directly, adding that, when there was no sunshine at night, the battery-bank, would supply power back to the load.
"SunPower Innovations also introduced a Seamless Transfer Switch (STS), which is able to switch between solar panels, batteries, generators and the national grid and diesel-powered generator seamlessly without the hospital experiencing power outages."
He said with over 2,400 solar panels, the FOCOS installation was bigger than that of a Haitian hospital, which has 1,800 solar panels.
"This is big and the impact is massive. We are saving the hospital over 60 per cent of their current bills and on average, the hospital's demand stands at 330kva; but what we have installed is about double what it consumes."
He said the move was important because grid reliance was dwindling globally as the focus was now on green renewable generation.
Mr. Amissah gave the assurance that with the installation of an STS the hospital would not experience any blackouts, saying, even the national grid, was automatic and seamless.
FOCOS was now off-grid and would save a lot of money; and for what they do, depending on donor funds for their work, the more the savings the better they could transfer to patients.
The Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides optimum orthopedic care and helping to improve the quality of life of the people in Ghana and other countries.