Mediclinic invests in environmentally friendly energy
Posted on 3 April 2018
Mediclinic Southern Africa continues to invest in solar energy as part of their focus on reducing their carbon footprint.
Recognised by the CDP for their carbon footprint submissions with another “A” rating in 2017, Mediclinic has already completed three installations of photovoltaic (PV) panels at hospitals in South Africa and Namibia and is currently busy with a further two installations at Mediclinic Thabazimbi and Mediclinic Lephalale. Eight additional installations are planned in the new financial year for local Southern African hospitals.
This long term plan for investing in solar energy is part of Mediclinic’s drive to become more self-sufficient as a hospital and includes the broader range resources including water and electricity.
“Our initial installation was in Mediclinic Klein Karoo, and was undertaken to understand the possible benefits to the business, but over time we have been able to put together a strong case for our remaining hospitals,” says Kobus Jonck.
“With the reduction in costs around solar energy over time, the planned return on investment makes these types of projects a stronger business proposition, with the long term financial benefits complementing the resource efficiencies,” says Kobus Jonck, General Manager Infrastructure for Mediclinic Southern Africa.
Not all hospitals are suitable for such installations, however the company has identified a number of facilities that have the correct structure to support the heavy PV installations. Large expanses of flat roofing with the correct orientation are required for this as well as the correct climate to maximise the possible energy yield.
In addition to aspects like solar ready hospitals, the internal design team at Mediclinic are always focused on ensuring that the long term decisions made in the design, will benefit the hospital in terms of reduced energy bills as well as reduced impact on the environment.
The recently relocated Mediclinic Thabazimbi was able to incorporate a number of resource friendly aspects into the new building. In addition to the solar panels, electric heat pumps were installed for heating water. The infrastructure team took care to ensure water can be recycled from the autoclaves to areas such as the water wise gardens. Mediclinic Thabazimbi’s envelope design (referring to layer between the internal and external areas of the hospital) was optimised to reduce the heating/cooling loads inside the structure; thus optimising energy efficiencies.
“As we move ahead with the solar investment across our hospitals we believe that the business will continue to identify synergies in the design and efficiencies possible with renewable energy,” concludes Jonck.