Why can't the new hospital car park be powered by solar?
THE Morning Bulletin has had several enquiries from readers wanting to know why the new Rockhampton Hospital car park has not been powered by solar so we went to the State Government to ask whether solar was considered and what where the reasons for not installing solar panels.
A spokesperson told us that studies on other Queensland Health projects had shown that solar power was not necessarily a viable financial option.
They said the majority of power usage in the car park was from the lighting.
"The efficiency of the technology employed renders the return on the capital outlay for solar panels not viable,” the spokesperson said.
"Given that the heaviest lighting load will be needed at night, the solar solution would require the use of a significant battery storage system, which further adds to both capital and ongoing maintenance costs.
"However, with battery storage costs coming down we will continue to monitor and may revisit when the cost equation is favourable.”
While solar power was not installed, the project does incorporate some environmentally sustainable design principles.
These include LED lighting, photoelectric cell lighting management, climatically appropriate materials and extensive use of landscaping.