Australia’s largest hospital solar power system to be installed in Port Macquarie
Australia’s largest hospital solar power system will be built at Port Macquarie Base Hospital as part of a $900,000 investment via the Mid North Coast Local Health District project. The hospital solar farm is projected to save the Port Macquarie Base Hospital around $130,000 in energy bills each year.
The town on the New South Wales Mid North Coast is said to have one of the best climates in Australia, which state Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams, is pleased can be put to good use.
“We have so much good sunlight for an extensive period of time throughout the year.
“We can use that to the benefit of our health facilities and spend less money on energy and benefit the environment,” Ms Williams said.
“The Mid North Coast has one of the highest uptakes of rooftop solar, so it makes perfect sense that we use our health facilities to capture that sun.”
Australia’s largest hospital solar power system
The ABC reported that the hospital solar power system will generate 609kW and “significantly” reduce the site’s dependency on the grid. The project will involve installing more than 2,000 photovoltaic panels to cover most of the available roof space at the hospital. Queensland commercial solar power installer Solgen will be responsible for installing the panels, according to Port News.
“We will be making sure those savings will be invested right back into frontline health services for the benefit of the community”, Ms Williams said.
The project will also include a $7 million program to implement a range of other energy conservation measures across the Mid North Coast Health District.
They will include the installation of LED lighting, rooftop solar panels, window tinting and rainwater harvesting.
Savings of $3.1 million over 10 years
While the system is believed to be the largest ever put on a hospital in Australia, it will still only be enough to power about 25.6% of the hospital’s electricity needs.
“While 25 per cent doesn’t sound significant, it will save the hospital $3.1 million in the first 10 years and $6.9 million in 20 years,” Business development manager Stuart Bonnett said.
He said that as the Bundaberg hospital grew, all future developments would be designed to incorporate more solar panels.
The hospital plans to further improve its efficiency by installing low-energy lighting and converting its hot water systems to solar hot water.
In just over three years, its gas hot water bill will be zero – a saving of $84,000 annually.
The solar system is expected to be built by mid-July and will also include energy performance monitoring – with over 9,000 lights replaced with high efficiency LED lights. A great step into the future and we look forward to seeing more hospitals installing solar systems on the top.