Hospital switches to solar energy in order to cut down on carbon

Solar energy is now helping to power The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) in one of its largest environmentally-friendly initiatives to date.

A number of projects are being carried out to reduce the amount of energy purchased, as well as minimise the Oswestry-based Trust’s carbon footprint.

The first of these projects to hit completion is the solar panel project, which has seen 1,760 solar panels installed across the hospital site by ZLC Energy LTD.

On a bright sunny day, the installation is capable of generating up to 2,300kWh of electricity, of which 99.95% is fed directly into the hospital’s own electricity system, helping to reduce day-to-day running costs, whilst at the same time reducing the hospital’s carbon footprint. This equates to boiling a full 1.5 litre kettle, 16,439 times or supplying 290 houses with 100% of their electricity consumption for a day.

The small remaining percentage of the electricity generated is being fed back into the grid. The most efficient way to utilise the energy is to use all of it on the RJAH site.

Mike Bowen, Capital Manager at RJAH, who has managed the project, said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to work on this extremely worthwhile project for the Trust.

“From our perspective at the hospital, we can already see that the solar panels will be a big asset in not only reducing our electricity costs but also cutting our carbon emissions, which reduces our impact on the environment.”

The solar project has been funded via Salix, which is a publicly-funded scheme that provides 100% interest-free, conditional loans to public sector organisations such as NHS Foundation Trusts and local authorities to improve their onsite energy efficiency.

Solar panels have been installed in a number of areas across the Trust, including above the main entrance, the Stores building, the Hydrotherapy Pool, the TORCH building and the largest array being on Location 12 in the hospital.

Whilst this is the largest single CO2 reduction project carried out by RJAH to date, a number of other projects are currently being completed which will contribute to the efficiency and lower running costs of the Trust, including the installation of LED lighting to replace old and inefficient light fittings and renewing the Trust’s boilers, with a more efficient system.


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