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    Govt, CSIR to step up solar project for hospitals


    December 1, 2022 - Rekord East

     

      The health department along with the council for scientific and industrial research (CSIR) are looking into a practical method to roll-out solar panels to health facilities.

      The Gauteng government plans to harness close to 10MW of its generated power from rooftop solar panels for 11 provincial hospitals to minimise disruptions to essential health services during power outages.

      George Mukhari, Laudium, Mamelodi, Tshwane and Steve Biko hospitals were chosen to pilot the solar panel project to reduce the burden on the Eskom grid.

      Health spokesperson Foster Mohale said the department was on the right track with efforts to ensure that priority hospitals were excluded from load-shedding.

      "We are working closely with the CSIR to conduct feasibility study on the roll-out of solar panels in the critical areas in health facilities as part of energy mix to mitigate the impact of load-shedding and overstraining the backup generators."

      Former Gauteng finance and e-government MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, now MEC for health and wellness, said in May that the roof-top solar panel project was one of her government's major integrated green energy initiatives expected to reach a financial close this year.

      Nkomo-Ralehoko said installing solar panels on rooftops of provincial government buildings would be restricted to each facility's needs.

      The initiative is one of the projects of the Gauteng infrastructure financing agency (GIFA), part of the provincial treasury.

      The agency is responsible for sourcing alternative funding for strategic infrastructure projects in the province.

      Nkomo-Ralehoko said the R500-million project would create approximately 6 000 direct and indirect job opportunities and positively impact the region's GDP.

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