South Australia (SA) will install around 6,000 solar panels across three of the region's largest hospitals to boost sustainability efforts and cut public costs.
The solar panels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save taxpayers over $600,000 each year, according to the government.
Tenders will be released this week for the installation of solar panels at the Flinders Medical Centre, the Lyell McEwin Hospital, and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Stephen Wade, minister for health and wellbeing at SA, said it was important to look at ways to make hospitals more sustainable while also making sure public services deliver value for the taxpayer dollar.
The solar panels will be installed on the top of existing or new car parks and it is expected this will happen by the end of this year. It is estimated they will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 1,736 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Wade said: “Our public hospitals have a very high uptake of solar energy already, with about 40 of our 75 public hospitals relying on solar hot water systems to decrease energy consumption.
“By increasing our solar energy usage across our hospitals, we will harness the energy of the sun to create around an additional 1,995 kilowatts of power over the three sites.”
Modbury Hospital in Adelaide and the Murray Bridge Soldiers Memorial Hospital are also due to add to their existing solar capacity this year.
This follows similar efforts to increase the sustainability of Australia’s hospitals, including four hospitals in New South Wales (NSW) receiving $8.1m in funds to install solar panels last month.
Separately, NSW’s building licensing body Fair Trading has investigated over 400 sites for unlicensed clean-up work following the summer’s bushfires. A six-month independent inquiry into “causes, preparation and response” to the bushfires has also been announced.
NSW and the Victorian government are self-funding bushfire clean-up programmes with a joint fund of $75m, in partnership with the federal government. The bushfires have destroyed over 11m hectares of land and killed at least 33 people.
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