Solar panel project marks bright future for region’s hospitals

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Aerial photo of solar panels at Warwick Hospital

Aerial photo of solar panels at Warwick Hospital

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Hospitals across the Darling Downs are now harnessing the power of the sun, to ensure a more sustainable future.

The exciting opportunity to tap into the renewable energy potential on rooftops is so far helping power 10 local healthcare facilities.

These include Warwick, Stanthorpe, Texas, Inglewood, Taroom, Jandowae, Baillie Henderson, Cherbourg, Miles and Tara.

Darling Downs Health Senior Project Officer Rob McHugh said it’s been great to power up these projects, with more to come.

“As well as the panels already switched on, we’re currently installing solar at Oakey and Wondai Hospitals. Other facilities including Nanango, Kingaroy Dental, Mount Lofty, Millmerran and Dalby will also have solar panels installed soon,” Mr McHugh said.

“In total, there are nearly 2500 panels across our facilities, which is around 1330 kW.”

“It’s wonderful to know that while our hospitals are creating so much good inside of them, they’re also now creating good on the outside too.”

As well as the environmental benefits, the $1.3 million project will also have positive financial outcomes.

Depending on weather conditions, the solar panels are expected to produce around $210,000 - $235,000 savings for the health service every year.

Traditionally, hospitals have been large energy consumers as they run 24/7, seven days a week and use a significant amount of equipment.

Some of the benefits of Darling Downs Health’s renewable energy project are already shining bright at Miles Hospital, which has been operating solar panels since July 2021.

A total of 64,802 kg of CO2 emissions have been saved, which is the same as planting 1,257 trees.

Mr McHugh said the systems are designed to only generate what is likely to be consumed on-site during the day, with minimal to no excess going back into the grid.

“It’s really exciting to be a part of this project, knowing that we’re investing in the long-term health and environmental outcomes of our local communities.”