The lights have turned off in this children’s psychiatric clinic since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. How many patients are seen here regularly? Around 100 to 200 per month You can see it here, the mold you can also smell it. Administrator Sofia Adaime shows us in where critical support before he gave hope to the families, today is silent. Much of the island is still in shadows like this Hurricane Maria devastated the island’s electricity grid and this is slowly repaired the clinic is part of the School of Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico that like many other medical facilities is operating with power from the generators.
However, this is not enough to be able to have in operation the wing of psychiatry Sofia and her colleague, Dr. Maria Lopez they take me to the image center the one that had to stop making resonances to the patients with colon and rectal cancers. This was closed about a month because our generator broke down that is our tomography machine is here is the MRI hundreds of visits were canceled recently reopened, with limited hours. Sofia and her colleagues say that constant care.
It is your main goal which requires constant electrical power on the other side of town a small children’s hospital is a solar success story the administrator of the Children’s Hospital, Juliana Rivera he gave me a tour of the facilities and the system of micro-networks of panels and solar batteries that Tesla installed in his parking lot How can this intervention help to other facilities in this situation? There are many communities that will not have electricity for a long time.
This is one way we can generate clean and sustainable energy besides providing energy to those people In the small town of Castaner three hours by car from San Juan nobody has the energy yet General Castañer Hospital which serves around 11,000 people from the peripheral zone is operating only with generator power. The director of operations, Adrian Gonzalez is responsible for keeping the generators operating and it’s not always easy. The day the generator started to fail It was the worst day of my life. It was Wednesday, it was 3:40 in the afternoon I remember it as if it were today and the lights of the hospital went out.
The hospital now has a larger generator that FEMA gave them but Gonzalez assured that his concern that energy keeps operating it keeps you awake at night create a solar future for Puerto Rico. It will require cooperation at various levels a person who has the authority to help is José Roman the Acting President of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission which oversees PREPA, the energy authority.
I asked how they could help the solar micro-networks to provide energy to various facilities such as hospitals. They already have backup storage so it’s just a matter of building a hybrid system with renewable, more storage plus it’s backup generator so I think hospitals or priority sites they are paramount to have this type of distributed energy generation. Commissioner Roman says who want Puerto Rico to rebuild a more resilient and sustainable network the hospitals would be a good place to start.