HYWEL Dda University Health Board’s solar farm development in Carmarthen has been recognised with a Sustainability Achievement award by the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management (IHEEM).
As a part of the Wales Regional Conference, hosted jointly by NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership- Specialist Estates Services and IHEEM, awards were presented to celebrate achievement, commitment, and improvement within estates services across NHS Wales.
This award recognises the health board’s use of innovative technology and sustainable practices to reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint.
The panel recognised that the solar farm development in Carmarthen not only contributed to the health board’s targets in reducing carbon emissions, but undertook a holistic approach, including biodiversity with enhanced planting and green areas, and patient and staff wellbeing through the inclusion of seating areas and information boards.
Paul Williams, Head of Property Performance at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “It is fantastic that our solar farm on our Hafan Derwen site in St David’s Park has been recognised nationally.
“The solar farm, which we switched on in April this year, is one of many exciting initiatives contributing towards the reduction of our carbon footprint.
“We are particularly happy that the project has been recognised, not only for the benefits of providing an on-site renewable energy source but also for the work involved in creating a green space that is providing staff and patients with an outdoor area to enjoy and learn about the local environment.
“The planting of fruit trees and wildflower bulbs has not only enhanced the area visually, but we hope will also, in time, provide a habitat for wildlife, contributing to the conservation of the local ecosystem.
“Overall, this project is an excellent example of how sustainable energy practices can benefit both the environment and local community.”
The solar farm project at Hafan Derwen is just one of the many steps the health board is taking towards addressing the Climate Emergency.
To date, roof mounted photovoltaic panels have been installed at a number of sites across Hywel Dda including Amman Valley Hospital, Bro Cerwyn, Bronglais Hospital, Milford Haven Health Centre, Pembroke Dock Health Centre, Llandovery, South Pembroke Hospital and Cardigan Integrated Care Centre.
An air source heat pump has also been installed on the Cardigan Integrated Care Centre and solar car ports are currently being installed at South Pembroke Hospital.