Hospital bosses have unveiled plans to create a solar panel field to power Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham and reinvest savings in health care for future generations.
Known as a “ground mounted solar photovoltaic array”, the solar panels will be created on fields owned by Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, south of Castle Road.
All energy generated by the solar panels will be used to power the hospital as part of the trust’s commitment to reduce its impact on the environment, minimise carbon emissions and enhance the sustainability of trust land, buildings and properties.
Savings in energy costs will then be reinvested in hospital services to tackle waiting lists hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chief Executive Chris Long said: “We have begun a major programme to reduce our impact on the environment, benefiting the health and wellbeing of everyone working or living near our hospitals as well as those who need our services.
“Using trust land to generate power for our hospitals is a major achievement that represents a huge leap forward in securing our future energy needs in a responsible and sustainable way.
“We know, better than most, how climate change has an adverse effect on people’s health and future generations will pay the price if we fail to act now.
“Doing nothing is no longer an option. We must lead by example and take action now to tackle the climate emergency we all face.”
The trust, which runs Castle Hill Hospital and Hull Royal Infirmary, declared a climate emergency recently. It wants to balance the amount of greenhouse gas it produces and the amount it removes from the atmosphere, known as carbon net zero, before 2040, ahead of the target set by the wider NHS.
As well as improving the environment, the entire environmental programme will also help the trust achieve its long-term goals of exceptional health care and clinical services, high standards of research and innovation and financial sustainability to ensure we can provide health services over the next decades.
A planning application for the ground-mounted solar photovoltaic array will be submitted to East Riding of Yorkshire Council shortly. The trust is also writing to residents living near the hospital to inform them and invite their comments about the plans.
Marc Beaumont, Head of Sustainability and Social Value at the trust, said: “We hope residents and the wider community will see the benefit of our plans and help us achieve our aim of improving health care and our services while minimising our impact on the world around us.”