Health Hub Morayfield reveals its solar powered plans

Enough solar panelling to power a suburban street, significantly reduced power bills and two electric vehicle charging stations are all part of an innovative energy efficiency plan that will underpin a new healthcare concept located in Morayfield, Queensland.

The expansive solar panelling system was unveiled today by The Hon Mark Butler MP in the company of Member for the Division of Longman The Hon Susan Lamb MP and guests in the lead up to Health Hub Morayfield’s official opening in April 2019.

Health Hub Morayfield is a privately funded integrated healthcare initiative that brings together health, education and research expertise to ensure easy access to affordable person-centred healthcare and support services within the community.

Repurposed from a former hardware warehouse, the 18,000sqm site has been designed to house a collaborative network of health, education and research practitioners, including a General Practice, allied health and state-of-art rehabilitation centre, education and research facilities and health education event space across three-storeys of renovated floor space.

Some 1469 solar panels have been installed on the building’s roof, covering an area of 2000sqm and supporting a 404kW system that has a predicted yield 688,755kWh of energy per year.

Health Hub Morayfield Director, Mr Evan Jones, said the investment is already saving the operation approximately $123,000 each year and is part of a broader sustainability program that incorporates LED lighting, broad energy-efficient eaves, huge rainwater recycling tanks and two electric vehicle chargers.

“Health Hub Morayfield has been developed to complement public health infrastructure and to assist in improving health outcomes and education in the community. An important part of this is ensuring we have the right infrastructure to not only create an energy efficient environment, but also to attract quality tenants and health collaborators,” he said.

“The solar panels alone required a large capital investment. However, the return on investment is in the vicinity of a massive 25% per year. We expect to have the infrastructure paid off in just over four years.”

The Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, The Hon. Mark Butler MP, said it’s wonderful business that are so heavily involved in the community, like Health Hub Morayfield, are investing in renewables and energy efficiency measures to lower their power bills and lower pollution.

“The World Health Organisation has described climate change as ‘the defining health challenge of the 21stcentury”. Living in a continent where we are already pushed right up against the limit of human tolerance, that description has added meaning for Australia,” he said.

“That’s why Labor’s Shadow Health Minister, Catherine King, and I have committed to establishing a Climate and Health Strategy if elected to government.”

Solar energy specialist Mr Paul Schlaphoff from NuGreen Solutions, the company that installed the solar system, believes the Health Hub Morayfield is an excellent example of what can be achieved in large-scale renewable energy programs.

“A solar energy system of this scale has the capacity to produce 2.3 megawatts of energy per day – which equates to the average power usage for around 50 houses,” he said.

“It is reflective of a shift that is seeing companies invest in the rollout of large rooftop solar systems to reduce energy costs and present a cleaner image to customers and shareholder.

“While there are hospitals in in Victoria with 100kw plus systems in place, It does clearly demonstrate that Health Hub Morayfield is a pioneer in this space.”

Health Hub Morayfield has slowly been building its service capacity over the last 18 months and currently offers a range of services including a General Practice, Minor Accident and Illness facility, dental, youth and mental health, radiology, audiology, rehabilitation, pathology, sleep clinic, cosmetic medicine, chiropractic, brain treatment technology and physiotherapy. It is home to the University of Sunshine Coast Clinical Trials unit and an early child education centre, with a Mum and Bub hub and pharmacy soon to be opened.

Health Hub Morayfield already services some 30% of the local community and will officially launch later this year.