Orange Hospital is reaching for sun


Orange Hospital is about to become home to the second largest solar PV installation in any government facility in NSW.

NSW Minister for Health Ryan Park said more than 3,300 solar panels will be installed on the roofs of buildings across the Orange and Bloomfield Hospital campus which will result in the reduction of almost 2,300 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

“The NSW Government is committed to doing everything possible to improve the sustainability of the NSW Health system and this installation at Orange is another example of that commitment,” Mr Park said.

“These solar panels will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of around 500 homes.

“NSW is a world leader in harnessing solar energy for public healthcare with almost all of our major hospitals using roof space for solar installations.”

Installation of the solar panels at Orange and Bloomfield Hospitals is now underway and should be completed in the coming weeks.

Minister for Energy and Climate Change Penny Sharpe said this project is positive on all fronts.

“We’re tackling Climate Change, and we’re using government facilities to generate clean renewable energy and help keep prices low in the long term.” Ms Sharpe said.

Jeff Morrissey, Director of Corporate and Services & Clinical Support for the Western NSW Local Health District, said the Orange Health Service solar project was a key component of the LHD’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

“Health services have historically been large consumers, with a substantial carbon footprint. At the Western NSW LHD we are committed to doing our bit to make all our services more sustainable,” Mr Morrissey said.

“More than half our vehicle fleet is now hybrid, we have solar installed in 20 locations, including 14 hospitals, and we have a commitment to stop using Desflurane, a gas used in anaesthetics which make up a significant portion of our carbon emissions, by 2024.”

Work to install the panels may cause some temporary disruption to pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Any on-site changes will be clearly marked to minimise any inconvenience to patients, staff and visitors.

Arrangements have been made for helicopter retrievals to be appropriately managed while the installation is underway.

Member for Orange Phil Donato said it is a great example of the community being at the forefront of renewable energy.

“I am so proud that our community gets to host this fantastic initiative,” Mr Donato said.

NSW health now has a total of nearly 20 megawatts of solar in its network, spread out on previously unused roof space. This covers the equivalent of about 20 soccer fields – or a large-scale solar farm if built as a ground-level system.

Solar energy has reduced NSW Health’s electricity bill by $4.2 million a year, with projected savings of $15 million a year by 2030.

The program has already reduced carbon emissions by around 33,000 tonnes – the equivalent of removing about 18,000 cars from the road.

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