Decarbonisation: Veolia operates the first solar car park to deliver renewable energy for a hospital in the UK
Sustainable resource management company Veolia, working with 3ti solar car park specialists, have started renewable electricity generation at Eastbourne District General Hospital (EDGH). By installing a new Solar Car Park (SCP) the hospital is the first in the UK to take this significant step which will produce 1,000 MWh of solar-generated electricity annually, and lower CO2 emissions by 222 tonnes in the first year.
The new solar array comprises over 2,412 solar panels across eight canopies that cover 400 car parking spaces. As high energy users, the hospital will make significant savings by generating its own renewable electricity on site, and reduce the hospital’s reliance on electricity from the national grid.
The new SCP also addresses the need for workplace electric vehicle (EV) charging by providing ten solar-powered EV charge points for staff use. By covering the car parking areas the solar canopies also provide shelter from the elements, and give enhanced security in the form of overhead lighting.
The SCP is part of the £27m energy management contract with Veolia to upgrade Eastbourne District General Hospital, and deliver wide ranging energy upgrades and target carbon savings of 4,129 tonnes per year. With funding provided through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme for affordable, low carbon energy efficiency upgrades across the public sector, the scheme is one of the first to take a whole building approach that accounts for how facilities and the energy delivery systems interact with each other, while maintaining an indoor environment that enhances patient care.
Chris Hodgson, Director of Estates and Facilities at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said:
“The completion of the new solar array is another significant step on our journey to net zero. The solar farm alongside other improvements, including new insulation and heat pumps, at Eastbourne DGH will lead to a significant reduction in the use of energy across the site which will be a key part of our work to provide sustainable healthcare.”
Commenting on this latest development, John Abraham, Chief Operating Officer - Veolia UK & Ireland - Industrial, Water & Energy said: "Achieving the NHS net zero targets, and maintaining the essential patient care facilities, requires a holistic building approach. By using the areas above the car park this latest project is an excellent example of how we can transform the space above ground level to deliver renewable energy. This further contributes to the NHS decarbonisation programme by reducing emissions, builds energy security for the hospital, and improves energy cost savings. We look forward to working with the teams at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and helping them achieve their environmental goals.”
Tim Evans, Founder & CEO at 3ti added: “This project is a win-win for all parties: the SCP provides low-cost and low-carbon electricity for the hospital, car park users benefit from the cover and lighting provided by the canopies, and staff with EVs can charge their cars whilst at work. EDGH has proven how simple it can be for organisations to transform car parks into a renewable energy source and leave something better behind for future generations.”
Veolia has been working with Eastbourne DGH since 2009, and currently provides energy and facilities management to over 100 hospitals in the UK which support the healthcare for around 8.1 million inpatients each year.
In becoming the benchmark company for ecological transformation, Veolia is committed to tackle climate change, resource depletion, biodiversity collapse, and pollution. By expanding the use of existing solutions, and developing new innovative solutions, the company is accelerating the process to radically change patterns of production and consumption and placing ecology at the heart of every process.