Second stage of solar initiative receives $650,000 funding

Recent events at the East Grampians Health Service in Ararat will result in more money being reinvested back into the health service.

The service have just completed the first stage of a major project to install and commission solar panels at the Willaura Campus, the main Ararat Hospital building, Community Health Centre, support services, the mental health building, and 70 Lowe Street and Garden View Court.

“This stage of the solar power initiative was made possible thanks to a generous bequest from Ararat businessman Joe Kapp,” East Grampians Health Service Board Chair Nancy Panter said.

Last week EGHS received notice that the second stage of the emPOWERing East Grampians Health Service Solar project, to install solar carpark shelters in staff and visitor car parks will be funded by the Victorian State Government.

“This $650,000 grant from the Victorian Government enables us to increase solar power production which lowers our costs and helps us to deliver on our strategic objectives, while improving the customer experience by providing our community with undercover parking. It’s a win-win for our community,” Ms Panter said.

“It’s not pleasant returning to your car which has been parked in full sun on a 40C day after an appointment with a newborn at East Grampians Health Service,” Ms Panter said about her experience in 2016 with her son Toby.

“The Board has discussed how undercover parking would provide shelter for our community, particularly elderly, frail and young families, from inclement weather including extreme heat and rain when visiting the hospital.

“The Board is proud to acknowledge the project as an important step towards a low carbon emissions future for EGHS.”

East Grampians Health Service Chief Executive Andrew Freeman thanked Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions Inc (BREAZE) for their support in the project.

“It is absolutely fantastic to receive the support from BREAZE and the Victorian State Government, which will allow us to continue with the emPOWERing East Grampians Health Service Solar Project,” Mr Freeman said.

“It also provides an important economic stimulus to the region’s economy. We anticipate there will be opportunities for manufacture, installation and project management from businesses within the region.”