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Building begins for new solar energy

Construction work has begun on a state-of-the-art solar panel project which will supply renewable energy to Addenbrooke's and the Rosie Hospitals.

Imgae shows solar panel structure over car park

Situated at Babraham Road Park and Ride, and delivered by Cambridgeshire County Council, the 4,500 panels will transform the site into an energy source generating up to 2.5MW of green electricity and reduce CUH’s electrical carbon footprint by approximately 400 tonnes per year.

The energy will supply local charging for electric cars, buses and taxis, and the surplus will be purchased directly by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH).

Image shows an aerial view of how the Babraham Park and Road site will look when the solar panels have been installed over the parking bays

CUH launched its Action 50 Green Plan in April 2022, setting out how the Trust will save more than two thousand tonnes from our direct carbon emissions over the next three years and become a net-zero organisation by 2045.

The actions include upgrades to physical infrastructure, prioritising life-cycle assessed purchasing and helping all staff, patients and visitors to actively contribute.

The plan builds on the significant progress already made in addressing the climate emergency, and responds to the ‘Net Zero NHS’ plan published in 2020.

Richard Hales, energy and sustainability manager at CUH explains more about energy saving at CUH

Richard Hales, energy and sustainability manager at CUH explains more about energy saving at CUH

Link: https://youtu.be/N_Qz4n1wHm8

Tackling the climate crisis is a clear commitment in our strategic priorities.

Carin Charlton, director of capital, estates & facilities management, CUH

Carin Charlton, director of capital, estates & facilities management, said:

"Our Action 50 Green Plan describes how we will accordingly reframe our decision making, strengthen collaboration across supply chains and deliberately drive down our carbon emissions.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council on this exciting project which will directly supply green energy to our hospital campus.

"This is one of many actions we are implementing to support our journey to becoming a net-zero organisation by 2045.”

The project is expected to be complete in Autumn 2023 and work will be carried out in three phases to keep as much of the car park open as possible at any one time.

Imgae shows solar panel structure over car park from above the panels

We are trying to make sure we squeeze every bit of value out of low carbon kilowatt hours.

Richard Hales, energy and sustainability manager at CUH

The Trust is also the first in the country to use sophisticated technology which chooses between solar, battery and mains energy.

This is used to deliver the lowest possible carbon heating and air-conditioning for mums and babies at the Rosie hospital.

It’s led to a 60 per cent carbon reduction and represents a major step towards the Trust’s highly ambitious, net-zero carbon future.

Richard Hales, energy and sustainability manager at CUH said:

“Being a 24/7 major acute hospital means CUH is a very intense consumer of energy, water, goods and materials.

“Front-line patient care, and all the associated support functions and campus infrastructure mean that each day CUH consumes the same amount of gas and water as a small town, and three times as much electricity.

“Our plan is to keep refining the technology whilst replicating and scaling up across our buildings in order to decarbonise our estate."

Further information about the new solar project at Babraham Park and Ride can be found at cambridgeshire.gov.uk.