Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals reduce energy costs

The background

BirminghamNHSTrustWe are working with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH) to install 200 solar panels at City Hospital’s Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (BMEC) to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions for the Trust.

A 50kW solar photovoltaic array was installed on the roof of BMEC saving the Trust £3,000 on electricity per year2, generating an income of over £5,000 per year and reducing carbon emissions by 21 tonnes per year3.

E.ON has also helped SWBH to save energy costs and carbon by replacing all of the existing incandescent lighting at two hospital libraries in the Trust with new super efficient LED lighting to include motion and daylight sensors.

The benefits of this project include

  • Average of 40,000 kWh electricity produced per year over 20 years1
  • Total income / savings of £8,500 per year based on savings from electricity used and FiT income over 20 years2
  • Carbon emissions reduced by over 21 tonnes per year3
  • Pay back within 5.5 years2
  • Remote meter reading that keeps track of how much energy is being generated and remotely monitors the systems performance

The project 

Working in partnership with SWBH, E.ON’s On Site Generation team were tasked with designing and project managing a specific energy solution for SWBH, within a tight public sector budget, to meet energy and carbon saving requirements. 

Our specialist design and engineering experience enabled us to combine a 50kW solar photovoltaic system with existing hospital specific back-up generators allowing full integration of both systems.

We also identified a local installer for the Trust providing local work for local people, provided staff training, helped with staff engagement in energy efficiency and offered assistance with internal and external communications to promote the benefits of renewable energy.   

solar buildThis simple solar PV installation will reduce the hospital’s energy consumption and is expected to pay for itself within five and a half years2, whilst also cutting the hospital’s carbon emissions by more than 21 tonnes3 per year. 

Additional E.ON energy efficiency measures include the replacement of incandescent lighting at two Birmingham hospital libraries with a new super efficient LED lighting system that’s helping SWBH to further reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.

“This is a great achievement for SWBH.It is hoped that the initiative will drive down carbon, help save costs and the environment!”

Nicholas Lane, 
SWBH Estates Officer

The technology 

solar panelsSolar Photovoltaic (PV) is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation (from the sun) into electricity. Photovoltaic power generation employs solar panels comprising a number of cells containing a photovoltaic material.

Feed-in Tariff

Feed-in Tariff (FiT) is available on all eligible installations and has been paid on generation since April 2010. It is index linked income that is paid on generation of electricity by the technology, whether it is used or exported back to the grid.

How the FiT works 

  • The FiT has been set by Government for a full 20 years at guaranteed rates4
  • You'll be paid for all the electricity you generate whether you use it or not
  • You'll receive  an additional payment for the electricity you export back to the electricity grid
  • Because you're generating your own electricity from Solar PV, the building occupier will avoid the cost of buying it from the electricity network

1Based on a 50kWp PV system with an average efficiency of 92% over 20 years.  2 Based on a 50kWp PV system with an average efficiency of 92% over 20 years, a FiT rate of 13.03p index linked at 3% and an electricity price of 7p per kWh  3 Based on a 50kWp PV system generating an estimated 40,000 kWh per year which equates to an annual carbon saving of 21.5 tonnes of CO2. 4