The Regional Health Solar Fund program aimed to deliver the following benefits:
Improving health by reducing carbon
We recognise that Victorians’ health and wellbeing is directly linked to the health of the environment. Installing solar panels helps cut carbon emissions and contributes to a healthier environment for all Victorians. The Regional Health Solar Fund program reduced annual carbon emissions by around 13,000 tonnes. This helped to minimise the environmental impact of Victoria’s health care system.
Lower energy bills
The Regional Health Solar Fund program was estimated to reduce annual total electricity expenditure for participating health services by around $2.7 million once all the arrays were installed and the loans repaid.
The program installed around 8.8 MWp of solar PV arrays and generated more than 11 GWh of renewable energy per year. This equates to two per cent of statewide hospital electricity consumption and up to 30 per cent of the electricity required by some regional hospitals.
Partnerships and collaboration for better sustainability
Following a successful pilot in Gippsland in 2017, the Regional Health Solar Fund program adopted an innovative ‘cluster’ sourcing approach for the design, supply and installation of solar PV arrays.
This approach increased opportunities for suppliers by grouping health services into regions to enable bulk procurement opportunities and deliver lower purchase costs. For health services, cluster sourcing enabled them to pool resources, reduce duplication of effort and achieve better pricing and service delivery.
The cluster sourcing model aligns with the Victorian Government’s Social Procurement Framework to support greater local community benefits and outcomes.