One of Australia’s largest health and aged care service providers has announced plans to install nearly 3MW of solar PV across 16 sites in three states, in what will be one of the nation’s largest commercial solar rollouts to date.
St Vincent’s Health Australia said this week it had selected Todae Solar to design and construct a 2.708MW commercial solar system across 16 of its 27 facilities, in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
The Catholic not-for-profit healthcare group expected the solar installed across the sites to produce around 4.11GWh of electricity a year for the 16 hospitals and aged care facilities once the project is completed in the second half of 2017.
Matt Power, St Vincent’s group manager on energy and environment said the project also aimed to demonstrate how solar could make healthcare more sustainable.
Solar had “increasing viability as an alternative to fossil fuel based electricity” for commercial groups, with “both health and environmental impacts,” Power said in a statement on Thursday.
While commercial solar still has plenty of catching up to do in Australia to reach anywhere near its potential, the nation’s aged car sector has been one of the leaders in installations.
As we reported in September last year, the aged care industry is looking to cheaper, cleaner sources to meet its energy needs as it works to accommodate Australia’s huge, ageing population.
Hospitals are also increasingly embracing rooftop solar. In the ACT, construction began in July on a 500kW government-funded solar array at the Canberra Hospital, along with the retrofit of energy efficient lighting.