Electricity generating solar panels have come to the rescue of one of the emergency services.
Panels made by Conergy, in South Row, Milton Keynes, have been fitted by Reading-based Photon Energy to roofs of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust control centres in Cosgrove Way, Luton and other sites in the region.
The centres, which operate 24 hours a day and co-ordinate more than 500,000 call-outs a year across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, could benefit to the tune of at least £800,000 over the next 20 years.
The panels will be able to generate 195,000 kilowatt hours of solar electricity a year, which the trust can use to reduce bills and sell surplus power to the National Grid. They will pay for themselves in a estimated five years, allowing future savings to be ploughed back into the service.
Andy Sanders, head of estates, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “Photon Energy’s installations were completed in just five weeks, within budget and with minimum disruption to site users. The quality of the inverters and Conergy panels gives me confidence that this has been an excellent investment for the Trust, which will enable us to release finances to support our frontline emergency service.”
Robert Goss, the managing director at Conergy UK said: “The health service has thousands of acres of rooftop which are currently going unused. Solar means NHS organisations can cut their energy bills and benefit from new revenue streams, safeguarding money for frontline services. The rest of the NHS, from Inverness to Kent, should follow leaders like the East of England Ambulance Service Trust. You don’t need sunny weather as the panels work even in cloudy conditions.”