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Health Board Plans Hospital Rooftop Windfarm

December 15, 2008 10:02 AM

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Six wind turbines on the roof of a hilltop Clyde acute hospital could mark the start of one of the most ambitious NHS energy efficiency drives witnessed in Scotland.

Scotland’s largest health board are drawing up a raft of initiatives to slash the carbon footprint of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde by as much as 25 per cent over the next eight years.

The health Board has now applied to Inverclyde Council for planning permission to erect six wind turbines on the roof of Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock to create electricity that will help run the hospital, deliver fuel economies and reduce the Board’s carbon footprint.

NHSGGC Facilities Director Alex McIntyre said: “The hospital site in Greenock is ideally suited for wind turbines given that the hospital is high on a hill exposed to fairly constant wind. Every little bit helps when it comes to saving energy and although these turbines will not be able to power the hospital, they will go some way to reducing the amount of electricity we need to buy from the national grid.”

A team of senior NHS managers and other health professionals are driving the NHSGGC Carbon Management Plan ahead with significant activity expected to be seen right across the Greater Glasgow and Clyde organisation during 2009.

An ambitious “grey water” scheme that would see millions of gallons of water being re-cycled at the state of the art Hillington laundry complex on the outskirts of Glasgow is another project on the drawing board – it would see rain collected from the roof of the building but also water brought directly up from the ground to supply the laundry and so save significant water resources.

Other areas being looked at include water saving schemes in hospitals, more energy efficient lighting throughout hospitals, health centres and other NHS buildings; a dramatic push to encourage better recycling of materials on everything from surgical supplies to paper, fuel and the humble tin can!

It is hoped big savings can be made from revolutionising the type of boiler systems used in hospitals … Glasgow’s huge hospital modernisation programme which will see the new Victoria Hospital and new Stobhill Hospital open for business in 2009 creates a wonderful opportunity to bring in the very latest thinking in fuel efficiency and “Green” policies and practices that will see the carbon footprint reduced and savings from efficiencies ploughed back into front line NHS services.
Mr McIntrye, who heads the carbon management plan team, added: “We are extremely serious about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring that our organisation does its bit to help Scotland deliver challenging environmental objectives. We are looking at every aspect of our service and what we do …and how we do it.

“The wind turbines on the roof of Inverclyde Royal Infirmary is but one component … but symbolically it will send out an important and visible message to our staff, patients and the general public that reducing the nations carbon footprint is everyone’s business – and it’s as much to do with health as it is to do with economics”.
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For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.

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