Solar Power At More NSW Hospitals

Solar energy - John Hunter Hospital

Image: Google Maps

In New South Wales, another four hospitals are being funded by the Berejiklian Government for the installation of solar power systems.

According to a brief release published yesterday, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai, Fairfield, Canterbury and John Hunter hospitals will receive $8.1 million in total to install solar panels.

The biggest system will be at John Hunter Hospital in New Lambton Heights, a suburb of Newcastle. The $3.2 million project will cover 12,000 square metres of roof space. Capacity of the system wasn’t mentioned in the release, but the NSW Government says it will be the biggest hospital solar project in Australia. According to an article on The Fifth Estate from last year, EOIs were being sought back then for the installation and operation of a 1.94 megawatt solar PV system at the facility.

Currently the largest operational hospital system in Australia appears to be a 759kW installation at Central Gippsland Health Service in Sale, Victoria.

Close to $1.5 million will also be spent on solar power for Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital; again, capacity not mentioned

“Hospitals use a sizeable portion of the state’s total energy consumption, so using our roof space to generate power is a smart way to reduce our dependency on the grid,” said Minister for Health Brad Hazzard. “By making our hospitals more energy-efficient, these solar projects will help bring our costs down, freeing up funds that can be invested back into the health system.”

Systems already installed under the un-named initiative include a project at Port Macquarie Hospital, which boasts a 609kW solar installation that has saved nearly $224,000 on electricity costs since June 2018. A project just about to be completed is at Blacktown Hospital (capacity again not mentioned), which is due to go live next month. Blacktown Hospital is expected to save $194,000 on electricity costs annually.

Victoria’s Hospital Solar Energy Rollout

As we mentioned yesterday, across the border in Victoria the Andrews Government has also been supporting commercial solar installations at hospitals.  Under the $13.5 million Regional Health Solar Program, a total of 74 healthcare and related facilities have had solar panels installed or will have systems added this year before the program finishes up.

Once it’s done and dusted, around 9.1 MW capacity would have been installed, which is expected to generate more than 11 GWh of clean electricity annually. The initiative is expected to avoid 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year and provide $2.7 million in savings on electricity expenditure annually.

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