Wirral NHS Trust
Wirral NHS Trust - St Catherine's Health Centre
Net Zero NHS goal
The health and care system in England is responsible for an estimated 4-5% of the country's carbon footprint, so it has a major role to play in reducing its impact on the environment. The NHS has committed to reaching Net Zero carbon emissions as soon as possible. At the same time, it is facing a constant challenge to deliver cost savings while ensuring a high standard of patient care and a sustainable NHS for future generations.
St Catherine's Health Centre is a large, modern facility with fantastic views over the Mersey to Liverpool. The Health Centre has over 15,000 registered patients and operates 7 days a week. The team at St Catherine's wanted to play their part in reducing the health centre's emissions with a solar PV system and in a cost-effective way. With a 7 day a week operation and high daytime electricity consumption, St Catherine's was well-placed to benefit significantly from solar PV.
Following a competitive tendering process, Mypower were awarded the contract to design and install a 100kWp solar PV system at the busy health centre. The installation commenced early in January 2020.
Key facts and predictions
- 99.45kWp (306 QCells Panels) - installed by Mypower.
- 84,607kWh - electricity produced per annum.
- £8,399 - projected first year income and savings assuming 57% of electricity used on site.
- 10% - projected first year return on capital invested, before capital allowance benefits.
- 5.93p/kwh - equivalent forward-purchase price of 3.5 million units of electricity over 25 years including operating and maintenance costs.
- 27.9 tonnes - CO2 emissions avoided per annum.
- 9.95 years - system payback before finance, tax and capital allowance benefits.
- £425,482 - total projected income and savings over 25 years after indexation.
- 57% - saving from solar PV electricity compared to grid supplied electricity at 13.69p/kWh.
22% reduction in total electricity bill
The system will provide nearly 40% of the health centre's electricity needs each year. In its first year it was expected to reduce St Catherine's total electricity cost by over 22%. There will be times when the solar generation exceeds their consumption - for example during summer weekends when generation is high and consumption is lower. The excess solar electricity will be sold to the grid and, together with the savings predicted from solar PV, the Trust is set to benefit financially in excess of £425,000 over the first 25 years.
St Catherine's solar PV system is helping to avoid 28 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum - the equivalent of planting over 130 trees every year. The 306 panels will generate an estimated 85,000kWh per annum, which is enough to power 21 houses for a year.
What does the future hold?
Currently, the solar panels are providing 40% of St Catherine's total energy needs but, as and when battery costs become commercially compelling, it may be possible for the system to provide nearly 70% of the health centre's electricity needs, in addition to providing a level of emergency backup power to support their more traditional generators.
No disruption to services during installation
"Mypower made the whole process of ordering and installing a 100KWp Solar PV System that consists of 306 panels easy to understand and guided the team through the whole process from start to finish. Neil from Mypower was in constant contact and ensured that the installation ran seamlessly from start to finish. Their installation team worked professionally and understood the needs of our site, a busy health centre, and worked around them."
Joe Clark, Health, Safety & Fire Advisor - Wirral Community Health & NHS Foundation Trust
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