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Green power plant to save hospital £500k a year

30 January 2018

Environment

Huge savings are set to be made from a new power plant which is now operational at Southend University Hospital.

The Trust's Estates and Facilities team has introduced a new state-of-the-art power plant that will generate £500,000 net savings a year from 2020, helping towards the hospital's efficiency savings and massively improve its carbon footprint.

John Henry, Director of Estates and Facilities, said: "Our on-site Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant is expected to save us a significant amount of money each year and pay back its initial cost by October 2020.

It also saves 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions - that's like taking 1,000 cars off the roads each year."

Heating, lighting and providing hot water for an estate the size of Southend Hospital was previously costing £1.82 million a year, and produced over 10,000 tonnes of CO2.

Both have been slashed. Initial savings are £111,000 a year after green loan repayments and, from October 2020, will rise to £500,000.

The cost of the £1.69 million CHP is funded by a government interest-free green loan paid back through the savings generated. CHP works by self-generating electricity by a gas fired heat engine connected to an electrical generator, which produces hot water as a valuable by-product.

This particular project has been over two-and-a-half years in the making with the new power station finally coming online in December last year, which is when it also started making savings for the Trust.

Manoj Chohan, Energy Manager, said: "While families last year were putting Christmas decorations up and preparing to cook their turkeys with power from remote power stations, more than half our power was self-generated by low carbon electricity - that's enough to power 2,900 houses a year. CHP is a win-win for us as it provides social, economic and environmental benefits."

Located in the Energy Centre boiler house, behind the Hospital Radio building, the only visible sign of the CHP is an 18 metres tall chimney or flue adjacent to the existing boiler chimney.

This is the ideal location for the CHP as it feeds into the same network of wires and pipes that serve A&E, the Tower Block, operating theatres, wards and offices.