By Liz Crudgington
Summer sunshine could provide enough electricity to power half of Margate’s Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital, thanks to the installation of 1,200 solar panels on the site.
East Kent Hospitals Trust is working with its facilities arm 2gether Support Solutions and energy performance company Breathe on a project to reduce carbon emissions and make more use of green technologies.
As well as the solar panels, the project involves installing LED lighting, upgrading heating and cooling systems to make the hospitals more comfortable for staff and patients, and improving insulation.
The works, funded partly by a grant from NHS Improvement, will reduce the Trust’s carbon emissions by more than 2,000 tonnes each year, and will also save £1.2million a year.
Liz Shutler, East Kent Hospitals’ deputy chief executive and director of strategic development, said: “This is a hugely important project that will deliver benefits for staff and patients, as well as for the environment.
“Our corner of the south east benefits from some beautifully sunny days so it makes sense to be able to harness that to create electricity for our hospitals.”
Keith Bourne, 2gether Support Solutions’ assistant director of strategic estates, said: “We are delighted to be working with Breathe to accelerate significant energy saving across the Trust’s estate,
“The investment will enable the Trust to reduce its carbon emissions and energy consumption whilst replacing aging plant with state-of-the-art equipment for the long term.”
The solar panels are due to start producing electricity next month.