Savings for solar powered Yarrawonga Health
In Australia when we think of solar power, we often think of rooftop panels on residential homes. After all, over a million Australian households have them installed, but plenty of other types of buildings and organisations are making use of them too.
So where else in the country, apart from in homes, is solar power being effectively utilised?
Once example is a location is Victoria that’s set to reap the benefits of solar savings. Yarrawonga Health now has a large installation of solar panels for electricity generation.
On August 30, David Davis, the state minister for health, launched the hospital's solar array and LED lighting systems. It's a landmark achievement as Yarrawonga Health now has the largest solar panel installation of any public hospital in the state.
There are 384 individual solar panels that generate around 160,000 kW of electricity and provide 15 per cent of the hospital's electricity needs.
In terms of the LED lighting project, 1,600 lights at the hospital have been replaced with more energy efficient ones.
These measures will work together to cut carbon emissions by about 350 tonnes per year, which is approximately one fifth of the hospital's total emissions.
"In the 2012-13 financial year Yarrawonga Health was hit with an additional $32,000 in energy costs due to the carbon tax, a massive 14 per cent rise on the previous year," said Mr Davis.
Now it is expected that Yarrawonga Health will make significant savings and these funds can be directed back into care for patients.
"We need to reduce the burden that rising electricity prices and the carbon tax have on our hospitals," he said.
Instead Mr Davis says that Yarrawonga Health is now a fantastic example to others of how we can move together to a more sustainable energy future. Energy efficiency projects are expected for other healthcare centres such as Austin Health, Monash Health, West Gippsland Healthcare Group, Latrobe Regional Hospital, Northern Health, Peninsula Health and Western Health.
As well as this, tenders will soon be released for solar energy projects at Alfred Health, Barwon Health and St Vincent's Hospital so that more healthcare centres can benefit from the immense energy savings that solar can provide.
The state government contributed $275,000 to the solar and LED project for Yarrawonga, while the project is slated to save $50,000 a year at the hospital - so it won't be long before it pays itself back.
Posted by Charlie Moore