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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Solar farm exceeds expectations by powering Swansea hospital

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The UK’s first hospital-owned solar farm has exceeded expectations by providing enough electricity to power the facility.

The £5.7m solar farm was built for Morriston Hospital in Swansea and has already saved around £120,000 on electricity bills, despite only operating in the winter months.

It went live in November last year and is expected to save 1,000 tonnes of carbon and £500,000 a year in bills when fully operational.

It has already produced 30,000 kWh of surplus energy which has been sold to the electricity grid at a profit for the hospital.

The solar farm was built under a loan scheme set up by the Welsh Government to decarbonize the public sector by 2030 and is repayable on an invest-to-save basis.

It was built on Brynwhillach Farm and is linked to the hospital by a three kilometer private cable.

Julie James, Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change, said: “We want our energy to come from community owned and locally managed renewable energy sources in Wales.

“This will ensure that our supply is resilient, reliable and reasonable for both our planet and our pocketbooks.

“We have bold ambitions to decarbonise the public sector by 2030.

“Morriston Hospital, which relies not only on the powers of its staff but also on energy-hungry machines to keep its patients alive and well, has led the way in its switch to renewable energy, which makes sense both. from the financial point of view as well as for the health of the population. Welsh people.

Julie James, Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change, visited the site at Brynwhillach Farm (Welsh Government/PA)

“Our addiction to fossil fuels is proving to be harmful, volatile and no longer viable.

“In Wales, we will continue to accelerate our investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, such as those adopted at Morriston Hospital, and call on the UK government to support a socially just transition to net zero as we respond to the climate emergency. .

“The IPCC has sounded the clarion call for our planet, now we must listen and respond to the science.”

Emma Woollett, Chair of the Swansea University Health Board, said: “The goal of the health board is to reduce its carbon footprint and maximize opportunities to use renewable energy sources.

“The solar farm will play an important role in achieving that goal, but there is also an additional benefit in terms of cost savings.

“It’s not just lowering our electricity costs every day, but covering 100% of our electricity needs on some days.

“With the current volatile situation with energy prices, this really shows that the investment and long-term thinking on behalf of the board of health has paid off.”

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