Hospitals are among the highest energy consumers in the commercial sector. It therefore makes much sense for these locations to consider going solar. Harnessing solar power enables them to save on costs while reducing their carbon footprint. In addition, embracing clean energy falls in line with the goals that a hospital may have. Indeed, part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is embracing clean energy such as solar power.
For any hospital, it can be complicated to contemplate the switch to harnessing solar energy. You often have to consider your energy requirements, capacity limitations, and of course; the cost. Here are important factors you should consider when planning to implement a solar project for your hospital.
Consider the overall goal of the solar power initiative
Before even contemplating a solar project, it is important to incorporate the goals of the project with those of the hospital. You should have a clear focus as to why you're looking to explore solar. Is it to reduce energy consumption? Is it to gain energy independence? Is it to go green?
Establish your specific objectives so you can get everyone on board with the project. The hospital staff will play an important role in assessing the effectiveness of solar power within the hospital on a day-to-day basis.
Consider where to install the solar panels
The installation of the solar panels will also affect how much power you can generate and what the project will cost. In some cases, it makes more sense to install the solar panels on site so as to manage them yourself and harness all the available energy.
If looking to install solar panels on site, consider your exposure to the sun and identify the best location available. Rooftop installation and parking lot canopies are two useful locations for an on-site installation. You can also consider offsite options such as community solar subscriptions that allow you to harness solar energy without maintaining solar panels on site. This may be an excellent option for hospital administrators who are looking to "test the waters" before making a significant investment.
Consider your emergency backup plan
Of course, it is important for your hospital to have a backup power supply. If you'll be relying on solar power as the main supply option, what arrangements will you put in place for emergency power? Consider an emergency option that kicks in almost instantaneously in case your solar options experience difficulty.
Consider the potential cost savings and other hospital initiatives
At the end of the day, switching to solar should present cost and energy savings. Start by determining your current power consumption and establish goals for energy savings after switching to solar. In this way, you can keep track of the ROI of your investment.