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Resilient Power | Power for Health

Issues & Solutions

Without power, critical health services can’t be provided – lifesaving medicines go bad, electronic health records can’t be accessed, essential medical equipment can’t be powered, and vital community health facilities serving the most vulnerable shut down. This single initiative addresses health equity, the need for renewable energy, and community resiliency.

The issue

  • Frequent, devastating climate-related events lead to an increase in power outages.
  • With healthcare systems’ growing dependence on power for treatment and records, thousands go without care when the power goes out.

The Impact on Health

  • 29,000 million people rely on free clinics and centers for healthcare.
  • 14,000 Community Health Clinics and Centers provide primary health care, prescription medications, chronic disease management, and more.

Communities with the Fewest Resources Are Impacted the Most By Outages

The Solution: Resilient Power

Direct Relief’s Power for Health Initiative seeks to bring clean, renewable backup power to community health centers and free clinics to ensure they can deliver critical healthcare services during power outages.

The initiative provides grants to these centers and clinics for the installation of off-grid, renewable, reliable power systems, improving resiliency and continuity of care for critical health services in vulnerable communities.

Consistent power = continuity of critical care + protection of expensive and vital medicine + access to health records = better health outcomes

A Prerequisite for Health

Direct Relief’s Power for Health Initiative seeks to bring clean, renewable backup power to community health centers and free clinics to ensure they can deliver critical healthcare services during power outages.

These sites not only serve as community hubs and healthcare providers daily, but they become first responder sites after a disaster and, therefore, must always remain powered.

While the frequency and length of power failures have been at their highest levels since reliability tracking began, health centers, unlike hospitals, are not required to have three days of backup power or generation capacity.

These outages not only shut down health services and have dire effects on health, but they also directly lead to the loss of financial resources, resulting from spoiled medication and lost patient revenues.

By equipping health centers and clinics with clean, cost-effective, and reliable forms of power generation and storage, the program aims to achieve the following:

  • Prevent the loss of life due to health center closures during power outages.
  • Enable quality and equitable healthcare services for the medically underserved, those living in communities with unreliable power, and those communities that suffer the worst impacts of disasters.
  • Avoid financial losses to health centers from closures and spoiled medications and vaccines.

partnership spotlight

Active Projects

Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico

Direct Relief is equipping Puerto Rico’s health centers, clinics and community facilities with solar and battery storage to better withstand future emergencies.



In response to fire-induced power outages, Direct Relief deploys power units and generators and works with health centers and clinics across California on several large-scale solar and battery installations.

tesla solar units Microgrid

Direct Relief HQ

To ensure Direct Relief never loses power, it engaged Tesla to build a microgrid that keeps the organization running and its cold-chain medicine protected even if it loses grid power.

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