Community Energy Warwickshire, a local energy co-operative, has financed the installation of a solar PV array at Stratford-upon-Avon Hospital. The installation marks the first time a community-based renewable energy project has been installed on an NHS site.

The news comes after the Co-operative Group published a new report revealing that growing numbers of people are choosing to start renewable energy co-operatives in their communities despite current economic uncertainty.

Midlands-based Eco2Solar was selected by the co-operative to install the 10kWp system. A further 50kWp of solar is set to be installed at the Warwick hospital early in 2012

Community Energy Warwickshire was set up by residents of the county, to facilitate investment in renewable energy and help local communities save energy. The co-operative has already risen over £100,000 of its target of £120,000 to fund renewable installations.

The array consists of fifty-two Suntech panels and is expected to produce over 8,000kWh a year of renewable energy for the hospital.

Paul Hutchens, Managing Director of Eco2Solar, said: “We were delighted to help Community Energy Warwickshire achieve their target of completing the Stratford installation before the Government's December 12 deadline for reductions in feed-in tariffs. Eco2Solar deals with a number of community organisations who are working together to ensure renewable energy plays a larger role in their local area. We are also pleased to be able to help South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust realise energy savings at a time when public spending is under pressure.”

Keith Sinfield, the Chair of Community Energy Warwickshire, said: “Eco2Solar worked hard and efficiently to help us get the Stratford installation completed on time. We are delighted our innovative partnership with South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust is already generating renewable energy and look forward to working with the Trust on energy saving initiatives.”