MISSION AND HISTORY
Skip the Grid is an initiative focused on bringing solar power to health care systems and other critical infrastructure in West Africa. Most clinics and many hospitals around the world are off the grid, relying on generators where fuel is difficult and costly to deliver. Hospitals often must shut down their power system for periods of time to conserve fuel. Vaccines are jeopardized and operations become more risky with intermittent or no power.
Without consistent and reliable power, rural communities face an uphill battle in managing very real health challenges. PV microgrids represent a sustainable, long-term solution that would free up capital for direct health care initiatives, as well as mitigate numerous untold environmental, social, and health costs.
How Skip the Grid Got Started
The idea for Skip the Grid was inspired by a Women of the ELCA trip to Phebe Hospital in Liberia in 2012. At the end of the trip, women from the Northeast Minnesota Women of the ELCA asked Dr. Jefferson Sibley, a doctor at the hospital, what the biggest need was at the hospital. His answer? Reliable Energy
In partnership with RREAL & the NE MN Women of the ELCA, the first Skip the Grid installation was completed in March 2017 and has been producing clean energy for Phebe Hospital ever since. Now, this model for rural hospitals is being scaled to more hospitals. Hospitals need electricity to provide adequate care to patients, but many places around the world do not have an electric grid.
Skip the Grid skips the electric grid by creating solar microgrids that democratize rural energy, reduce operating expenses of hospitals, empower households with clean energy, reduce pollution, build the solar workforce, and care for creation.
Skip the Grid has completed solar projects in Liberia (2017) and Zambia (2018). In 2019, we are developing solar micro-grids in Liberian and Uganda. In 2020, we are planning several projects in South Sudan and Ethiopia.
As Skip the Grid projects are built and the news of our solar-micro grids spreads, we receive more requests than we can develop. We are always looking for corporate sponsors, donors, partners, and volunteers. Head to our Get Connected page to learn more about these ways to support!