The installation of a 500kW ACT government-funded solar array is underway at the Canberra Hospital, which along with the retrofit of energy efficient lighting, is expected to save the facility close to half a million dollars within two years.
Canberra’s minister for health and the environment, Simon Corbell, said on Wednesday that the initiative, backed by an ACT government grant of $3.3 million that was announced in August 2015, would significantly improve energy efficiency at the hospital, which was one of the government’s largest users of electricity.
The solar panels – which are being installed on the roof of the hospital’s multi-storey carpark – will reduce the hospital’s energy consumption by about 800,000kWh a year.
Combined with the energy efficient lighting, the entire project is expected to cut the hospital’s energy use by 3,298,000kWh once fully implemented.
“It consumes almost 20 per cent of the ACT government’s total electricity use to power critical 24-hour services,” Corbell said.
“Energy initiatives underway at the Canberra Hospital will save close to half a million dollars which means we can spend this money in other areas of our health system.
“In total, the initiatives are projected to achieve an estimated saving of $490,000 in energy costs by 2017-18 and also reduce the government’s overall carbon footprint.”
The solar installation will be complete by late 2016. It was funded under the ACT’s Carbon Neutral fund, which has also backed lighting upgrades in ACT public schools, heating system upgrades in community facilities, including libraries and community centres, and water heaters for swimming pools at two Canberra special schools.
Other hospitals around Australia with rooftop solar installed include Bendigo Hospital, with a 200kW system, and Hervey Bay Hospital in Queensland, which has a 260kW system.