Hospital tooks to solar power to help cut down down costs
A HUGE solar system, potentially generating 100 kilowatts of power, will be installed at Northeast Health Wangaratta (NHW) by the end of 2017/18.
The proposed 500-panel system will be part of the State Government’s $26 million Greener Government Buildings program.
Plans are for it to go on the roof above the maternity and critical care wards and it will be a part of the surgical ward, by June next year.
It’s a system that will cost $100,000 and the pay-back period would be four to five years.
The upgrades to Victorian hospitals are estimated to save more than $70 million over the life of the investments, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20,000 tonnes each year.
Greg Ellis, manager of facilities and engineering at NHW, said the hospital’s electricity use was more than the 100kw and more energy is used in summer than winter due to the high cost of air conditioning.
NHW constantly looks at ways it can save energy and reduce waste with dozens of initiatives already in place.
These include replacement of halogen and fluorescent lights with LEDs, insulation, reflective paint on roofs, a solar hot water system at the Thomas Hogan unit, water saving measures, better air conditioning efficiency, door seals and window tinting.
Department of Health will continue to analyse health service energy use to determine which hospitals will benefit the most from solar panels and energy efficiency solutions.
Health services identified will then be eligible for loans to install energy efficiency technology.
They will also have the opportunity to bulk buy solar panels through Health Purchasing Victoria to maximise benefits delivered through this initiative.
Minister for Finance Robin Scott said they are taking action on climate change and driving down costs for our hospitals and health services.
“The Greener Government Buildings program is a win/ win – it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, creates jobs and saves Victorians money,” he said.
Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said investments for the hospitals need to keep pace with increasing demand.
“This is so they can focus on what they do best, which is saving lives and caring for Victorians,” she said.