UK’s first solar car park powers hospital with renewable energy

Eastbourne District General Hospital (EDGH) is the first UK hospital to install a Solar Car Park (SCP) and cut CO2 emissions by 222 tonnes in the first year.

Veolia and 3ti have teamed up to create the UK's first Solar Car Park, generating 1,000 MWh of green electricity annually and slashing 222 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the first year.

Veolia and 3ti have partnered to generate renewable electricity at EDGH by producing 1,000 MWh of solar electricity yearly.

The new solar array comprises over 2,412 solar panels across eight canopies that cover 400 car parking spaces. As high energy users, the hospital will make significant savings by generating its renewable electricity on-site, reducing its reliance on electricity from the national grid.  

The new SCP also addresses the need for workplace electric vehicle (EV) charging by providing ten solar-powered EV charge points for staff use. By covering the car parking areas, the solar canopies also provide shelter from the elements and enhance security through overhead lighting.  

£27m energy management contract

The SCP is part of the £27m energy management contract with Veolia to upgrade Eastbourne District General Hospital, deliver wide-ranging energy upgrades and target carbon savings of 4,129 tonnes per year.

With funding provided through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme for affordable, low carbon energy efficiency upgrades across the public sector, the scheme is one of the first to take a whole building approach that accounts for how facilities and the energy delivery systems interact with each other while maintaining an indoor environment that enhances patient care.  

Chris Hodgson, director of estates and facilities at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “The completion of the new solar array is another significant step on our journey to net zero. The solar farm, alongside other improvements, including new insulation and heat pumps, at Eastbourne DGH will lead to a significant reduction in the use of energy across the site, which will be a key part of our work to provide sustainable healthcare.”  

Commenting on this latest development, John Abraham, chief operating officer, Veolia  UK & Ireland,  Industrial, Water & Energy said: “Achieving the NHS net zero targets and maintaining the essential patient care facilities, requires a holistic building approach.

Improving energy cost savings

“By using the areas above the car park, this latest project is an excellent example of how we can transform the space above ground level to deliver renewable energy. This further contributes to the NHS decarbonisation programme by reducing emissions, builds energy security for the hospital, and improves energy cost savings. We look forward to working with the teams at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and helping them achieve their environmental goals.”  

Tim Evans, founder and CEO at 3ti added: “This project is a win-win for all parties: the SCP provides low-cost and low-carbon electricity for the hospital, car park users benefit from the cover and lighting provided by the canopies, and staff with EVs can charge their cars whilst at work.

“EDGH has proven how simple it can be for organisations to transform car parks into a renewable energy source and leave something better behind for future generations.”