An on-site solar project that aims to save lives in Syria was launched this week. 

The 127 kWp solar photovoltaic (PV) project at a Syrian hospital is now online, installed by the Syria Solar Initiative of French medical charity the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM).    

The installation features 480 PV panels, 288 batteries with a total capacity of 720 kWh, and advanced data control systems.

After six years of war, large parts of Syria’s grid have been destroyed and hospitals have been dependent on diesel generators. But diesel shortages and associated price rises have endangered patients’ lives.

The pilot solar project, located at a hospital which was not identified for safety reasons, is expected to save an average of over 7000 litres of diesel fuel per month, or around 20-30 per cent of the hospital’s energy costs. During diesel outages, the PV system can power the intensive care unit, operating rooms and emergency departments.

UOSSM plans to install five more PV systems at vulnerable Syrian hospitals and is seeking funding partners for these projects. The charity said it aims to eventually provide power for all Syrian hospitals.

Dr Anas Al Kassem, Chair of UOSSM-Canada and war surgeon, said: “Hospitals depend on diesel generators and are vulnerable to outages and price surges. Incubators, respirators, and other life-saving equipment need stable access to power. Many patients have died from simple power outages. The solar project was desperately needed.

“I am overjoyed that the project is running at full capacity and saving lives.”