Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) has taken a significant stride towards achieving its net-zero targets by installing a state-of-the-art solar photovoltaic canopy over the car park at its Wharfedale Hospital site.

This £1.1 million project will supply sustainable solar power to the hospital, reducing its reliance on traditional energy sources and thereby decreasing the Trust’s carbon footprint.

The 617 solar panels will cut carbon emissions by 43.7 tonnes per year and save the Trust £75,000 annually. The electricity generated will decrease the use of grid electricity by 15%, equivalent to powering 60 UK households.

Craige Richardson, Director of Estates and Facilities at LTHT, commented; “The solar canopy at the Wharfedale site exemplifies the Trust’s dedication to both environmental sustainability and the health and well-being of the communities we serve. It’s a real positive that the power required to run Wharfedale Hospital will be partly supplied by green energy, especially as the energy demands for the site will increase with the opening of a permanent Elective Care Hub.”

This investment forms part of the Trust’s long-term plans to enhance services at Wharfedale Hospital, which also encompasses a proposed £15m Elective Care Hub. This hub will feature two new theatres, a recovery area, admissions and discharge area, as well as the conversion of an existing ward to operate overnight.

The Trust has been a pioneer in investing in energy-efficient projects, with a noteworthy commitment of over £22 million.

These projects, including the canopy, have been made possible through successful bids for Government funding under the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

The range of initiatives implemented by the Trust encompasses the installation of heat pumps and cutting-edge LED lighting, upgrades to the building fabric, and connections to Leeds PIPES, a low-carbon district heating network.

Reid Cunningham, Business Development Director – Energy at BAM, remarked; “BAM has provided facilities management services at Wharfedale Hospital since 2004 and we’re delighted to have delivered this innovative solar canopy installation that will reduce the hospital’s carbon emissions by 43.7 tonnes per year. Installing the solar canopies above the hospital car park is a fantastic way of harnessing the untapped potential of this space, so that it not only provides a place for staff and patients to park, but also provides clean, renewable energy for the building.”

Over the past decade, the Trust has demonstrated its unwavering dedication to reducing its carbon emissions, resulting in a remarkable 34% reduction, and they remain firmly on track to meet the NHS’s ambitious net-zero target by 2040.

Mila Lopez Simon, Managing Director, UK&I at Invesis, said; “We are proud to have supported the Trust in delivering the solar photovoltaic canopy. As investor developers, we will continue to support the Trust by fostering positive, collaborative relationships and through the efficient delivery of future variations and management services, which will play a role in helping the Trust achieve their long-term net zero objectives.”