Strengthening Healthcare on the Lake Victoria Islands of Uganda

Through our fully integrated, turn-key standalone cabinet power system, the SUSTAIN BOX™, SustainSolar and local partner Equatorial Power have electrified five last-mile rural health clinics on the islands of Lake Victoria (Uganda). The health clinics are located in Buvuma and Namayingo districts with a total catchment population of over 60,000 people and collectively averaging around 4,000 patients per month since installation of the SUSTAIN BOX™ and PV panels in March 2022.

This collaborative project was designed to respond to the needs of off-grid local health clinics adjacent to the service region of Equatorial Power’s clean energy mini-grids in rural Uganda. Due to the distant locations of these health clinics, grid extension and mini-grids are not feasible, but the stand-alone SUSTAIN BOX™ with PV panels offers an affordable alternative for delivering reliable and clean energy.

This project is made possible by USAID/Power Africa’s Healthcare Electrification to Improve Maternal and Child Health Service Delivery grant. SustainSolar and Equatorial Power have successfully installed five off-grid power systems, each with 5.46 kWp PV and 14.8 kWh li-ion battery energy storage to power medical equipment, lighting, water purifiers, and ancillary equipment (e.g., computers for recordkeeping). To date, the project has already proven effective – with high praise from clinic staff who can now extend hours of operation to 24/7 service, improving trust and satisfaction amongst the community.

The project reached another milestone in August: the delivery of lifesaving medical equipment which will further positively impact and enhance health service delivery. This is supplementary to the provision of reliable, steady, and clean power to the clinics via SUSTAIN BOX™ with solar PV panels. The medical equipment – including vaccine fridges, newborn incubators, and autoclave sterilizers – are all powered by SustainSolar’s off-grid energy systems and serviced by Equatorial Power alongside health clinic staff.

Committed to sustaining the positive impact of this initiative, Equatorial Power and SustainSolar have already instituted a long-term operation and maintenance (O&M) model to ensure continued reliability of these power systems. Through previous collaborations, SustainSolar and Equatorial Power have also successfully electrified rural communities, small businesses, and other public services in Uganda and DRC via larger containerized turn-key power systems.

Founded in 2018, SustainSolar offers turnkey containerized, pre-installed solar PV and battery energy storage systems (BESS) equipped with top-quality solar PV electronics, including lithium-ion batteries which come in standardized yet adjustable product configurations from small to large to suit a wide range of energy needs. With its commitment to quality, a rapidly growing track record on the African continent, and an expanding network of local partners, SustainSolar is a preferred solution provider for mini-grid operators, off-grid and hybrid fuel saving applications. SustainSolar strives to reduce implementation risk for project developers, alleviates operational hassles such as sourcing, logistics, and commissioning and offers asset financing for its product range.