Australia will soon have its first renewable-powered hospital with the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government announcing that the Canberra Hospital Expansion will run on 100 per cent renewable electricity.
The ACT Government is expanding Canberra Hospital to include a modern, purpose-built and state-of-the-art 40,000 square metre emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facility at the existing hospital campus in Woden.
The new building will include more operating rooms, more treatment spaces and more intensive care beds to expand the overall capacity of the hospital.
Marking the largest healthcare infrastructure commitment ever undertaken by the ACT Government, the hospital will soon be powered by efficient all-electric heat pumps.
As the ACT has now reached its 100 per cent renewable electricity target, this investment will be powered entirely by clean, green renewables. Once operational, this will avoid 1886 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere every year, equivalent to taking 760 cars off Canberra roads each year.
ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said that at a time of climate emergency, every decision made by Governments must consider climate impacts.
“Across all sectors and across Government, we must act now to put our climate first,” he said.
“Buildings like these will last for decades to come, and would otherwise be gas-powered – at significant health and financial cost to our community. Gas is a polluting fossil fuel, and the ACT Government has committed to transitioning away from climate-warming energy sources and instead, is fully embracing the renewable energy revolution.”
“Canberrans can be proud that our city is a global climate action leader. This major investment is again proof that the ACT is the nation’s climate action capital – leading the way nationally and globally on urgent climate action to build a better future, for all of us.”
Dr Kate Charlesworth, Climate Councillor and public health physician said the health system has a responsibility to use clean, healthy renewable energy.
“The Australian health sector is a significant contributor to our national carbon emissions. By switching to renewable energy it has a tremendous opportunity to improve health, create new jobs and reduce our emissions.”
In mid-August 2020, construction company Multiplex was appointed by the government to deliver the new emergency building. Construction of the new facility is expected to generate approximately 500 jobs – commencing in 2021 and concluding in 2024.