HSA expects to cut costs with solar panels

| 05/01/2022 | 26 Comments

(CNS): Work at the George Town hospital installing a solar array and one of the largest rooftop installations of solar panels and equipment in the Cayman Islands has finished. The Health Services Authority (HSA) said that this places the hospital among the corporate leaders for environmental sustainability and green initiative among government agencies.

Once it is switched on, it is expected to produce an equivalent amount of clean energy to power 50 private homes in the Cayman Islands. The near $500,000 project is part of a estimated CI$2 million investment in conserving energy at the hospital.

The panels and other green projects are expected to save the hospital around $360,000 per year in running costs and cut down on the HSA’s carbon footprint.

“This project is our flagship solar panel system installation and part of a broader initiative to ensure more healthcare dollars go into staffing and patient treatment and less into operational overhead,” said HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood. “Our efforts in 2021 included replacement of decades old windows to improve thermal protection, replacement of old chiller systems to high efficiency equipment, and the replacement of bulbs across the main campus with more energy efficient LEDs.”

The project was installed by local company GreenTech Solar following a competitive procurement process earlier last year which was awarded in June.

HSA Board Chairman Osbourne Bodden said the commitment to sustainable operations was part of the HSA’s goal to use clean energy and improve efficiency. He said the array fits within the facility modernisation programme, which will “improve the overall patient experience at all HSA facilities and ensure healthcare remains affordable and accessible”.

He said the savings accrued from the combined energy initiatives will cover the cost of six nurses. “At the same time, it is making the HSA a more sustainable organisation and a local leader in efforts to reach the aspirational goals outlined in the National Energy Policy,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the HSA has also procured a full upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant and rolled out a waste recycling programme as additional green initiatives. Yearwood further noted that the environmental benefits are important but the upgrades will ultimately provide a better experience for patients.

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Category: Energy, Government Administration, Health, Politics, Science & Nature

Comments (26)

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  1. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    I’m hopeful. As a person experienced in alternative energies, I hope HSA has their maintenance team and maintenance schedule in place and inclusion in the budget.

    There will be a learning curve. I think this was a brilliant and progressive thing to do, and I hope it works and leads the way. GreenTech Solar gets high marks, so there is no reason to not suppose it will be a great advancement for HSA, and hopefully lead the way for other governmental entities.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Where did HSA find their current Gold mine? They could have built a small hospital in Savannah area way cheaper than buying then converting & renting numerous commercial buildings in GT.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Does the hospital have a maintenance crew? They could save even more money by just keeping the taps and the toilets fixed. Since I’ve never been to any restroom without something leaking.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Net Metering Now.

    Full Stop.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Are solar panels as green as you think?

    See Solar Panel Manufacturing Process here https://kubyenergy.ca/blog/the-positive-and-negative-environmental-impacts-of-solar-panels

    The question unanswered (or haven’t been asked): How solar panels will be recycled?

    “ By 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency projects that up to 78 million metric tons of solar panels will have reached the end of their life, and that the world will be generating about 6 million metric tons of new solar e-waste annually.” https://www.wired.com/story/solar-panels-are-starting-to-die-leaving-behind-toxic-trash/

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great job HSA

  7. Anonymous says:

    Every new build should be solar first, grid backup with generator.

  8. Smart Student says:

    Will the Education Department ever go green? Schools’ staff, students and the man in the street have suggested that the schools are capable of supplying their electrical needs from solar panels. Clifton Hunter and John Gray come to mind; the schools have vast areas of covered buildings and walkways. The annual energy bill must be ginormous! Thanks to the enlightened leadership at HSA for showing the way.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least two schools have significant solar arrays. Can you guess which two? Hint: they are not public schools.

      • Anonymous says:

        JGHS has a fairly significant solar system. Best do some fact checking before making broad statements.

        • Anonymous says:

          “At least”.

        • Anonymous says:

          “Significant” in this case is partial. Solar can meet the “total” energy requirements of a school. Hybrid systems just don’t cut it. A comprehensive policy backed by meaningful subsidies would ensure conversion at lightning speed. Think of the additional jobs that would be created. By the way panels can be mounted so that they can easily be removed and stored ahead of an approaching hurricane. No more excuses!

  9. Anonymous says:

    only 20 years too late. Sunny 280 days a year, of strong tropical sun and they only just think:

    Civil Servant “Hey, do you know you can get electricity from the sun, minister?”

    Jon Jon “Sounds like witchcraft, we better check with the Christian Ministers Association, to see if we are allowed to do it and how will this effect may CUC dividends?”

    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair if they had installed them 20 years ago they would have a) lost them in Ivan and b) not even recovered their investment by now.

      • Anonymous says:

        Imagine the millions of gallons of fuel that wouldn’t need to be bought, transported and burnt.

  10. Anonymous says:

    How about HSA and CIAA incorporate the Aruba model for solar power by placing panels on the covered parking lots. It has a due purpose of energy conservation and protection of the elements. Simple and efficient.

  11. Anonymous says:

    LOl, they soon mash them up

    • Utilities says:

      Great job. Previous chair was not interested in this or saving money.

      • Anonymous says:

        The previous Chairman probably didn’t see a benefit due to the cost of the panels, batteries etc.added to installation and maintenance costs.
        20 year payback, then obsolete.

  12. Anonymous says:

    5.5yr ROI, not bad

    • Anonymous says:

      Although CUC says our rates are not bad for the caribbean, they are actually awful. Suprise suprise CUC would pay a firm to write a report saying they are good.

      If you have the ability to install a large amount of solar, the timeline for a 100% ROI is very short. It takes about 1/3 to 1/2 as it would in the US.

      • Anonymous says:

        Show your working. Last time I checked CUC price /kWh was lower than almost every comparable island and much lower than some like USVI even Hawaii.

  13. Anonymous says:

    HSA could significantly spare our routine CIG bailout costs by retaining resident patient co-pay insurance database and verifying benefits like other health providers. Does anyone understand why that most important receivable data field gets wiped from their systems daily/hourly? It’s not a GDPR thing because the patient is contenting to treatment and co-pay collection. It’s almost as though they are trying to loose money.

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