Ilkeston Community Hospital in Derbyshire is hoping to dramatically cut its carbon emissions since Eco Environments installed a 50kWp solar array on the hospital’s roof. The £166,500 solar array is expected to save over 24 tonnes of carbon from being emitted every year.

The 212 Sanyo 235kW modules installed earlier this year have already started to reduce the hospital’s day-to-day running costs. John Parrott, who oversaw the project for Derbyshire Community Health Services, said: “We get paid for electricity generated even though we use it ourselves and don’t envisage creating a surplus.

“A large proportion of the hospital’s power usage is for lighting – with the remainder being used for computers, plant-rooms and other appliances. An easy comparison is that the solar panels are enabling us to use much of the hospital lighting for free.”

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust estimate that the lifetime benefit of the system will be in the region of £1 million over 25 years, through feed-in tariff payments and decreased electricity consumption. Eco Environments estimates that the hospital will receive a minimum 16.5 percent average annual return on investment, saving £5487 on electricity bills, increasing year on year.

Parrott continued: “We are delighted by how successful the switch to solar power has been in providing much of the hospital’s electricity.

“The panels are not yet operating at full capacity due to short winter days and overcast skies but are still producing a considerable amount of electricity for the hospital.

Parrott concluded: “We can already see that the solar panels will be a big asset in reducing our electricity costs, whist at the same time reducing our carbon emissions.”