Spire Healthcare invests £5.2m in solar technology in ‘landmark project’

Spire Healthcare – reportedly the UK’s first independent sector healthcare provider to commit to become carbon neutral by 2030 – has embarked on ‘a landmark project’ to install 12,155 solar panels at all its 38 hospitals across England, Wales, and Scotland this year.

It says its £5.2 m investment in the scheme is the largest of its kind by a UK independent sector healthcare provider, and part of a 10-year decarbonisation plan expected to generate 4.8 million kWh of electricity annually, contributing to reducing the hospital estate’s annual electricity consumption by 17%. The installation of the solar panels is expected to be completed this year, reducing the hospital estate’s combined annual carbon footprint by approximately 968 tonnes –  the equivalent of planting 44,000 trees.

Spire Murrayfield Hospital, Wirral (pictured) is the first Spire hospital to have solar technology installed, with over 400 panels on its roof and in its grounds. These are expected to generate 15% of the hospital’s annual electrical needs, and reduce its overall carbon output by 35 tonnes – equivalent to taking 87 cars off the road.

The healthcare provider said: “The importance of this group-wide investment in solar technology is two-fold. With energy costs expected to remain high for the foreseeable future, and with our drive to become a recognised leader in sustainability, investing in solar not only makes sounds financial sense, but is also an important element within our 10-year carbon reduction roadmap. Since launching our Sustainability Strategy in 2022, our goal has been to lead the sector as the first UK independent sector healthcare provider to become carbon neutral by 2030. By the end of 2023, we were 3% ahead of our overall emissions reduction target.

Spire Healthcare’s energy improvement works are being undertaken by eEnergy Group, whose CEO, Harvey Sinclair, said: “In partnership with Spire Healthcare, eEnergy is setting a new benchmark for sustainability in healthcare. Our collaboration goes beyond mere ambition; it’s a concrete step towards Spire’s Net Zero goal, powered by our deep-rooted expertise in renewable energy. By integrating efficient solar arrays, we’re not just cutting carbon emissions – we’re redefining energy independence in healthcare. This initiative promises substantial financial savings, and underscores the viability of green investments.”

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