Regis Aged Care has embarked on an energy efficiency program, which will see over 4,400 solar panels with the accumulated capacity of 1.6 MW and more than 15,000 LED lights installed at 35 of its properties. The installations are estimated to bring an annual reduction of up to 20% in electricity consumption and around 3,700 tonnes of CO2 in greenhouse gas emissions across the homes in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
According to Regis National Sustainability Manager Kaushik Sridhar, the lighting and solar upgrades would not only produce better energy performance, but also improve the aesthetics of the facility through improved lighting as well as future proofing Regis homes against rising energy costs and regulations. “We’ll reduce the amount of energy consumed via more efficient LED technology while producing more of the electricity required on-site via solar,” he said, noting that up to 35% of total energy consumption at a typical aged care facility is used for lighting.
To deliver the solar installations, the aged care specialist has come together with Planet Ark Power. In one of its earlier projects, the Brisbane-based company partnered with Schneider Electric on a $13.9 million solar PV and battery installation at a major supermarket distribution centre in Adelaide’s North. Backed by a $1.95 million grant from the South Australian government, this project includes a microgrid management system optimising 5.7 MW of solar PV coupled with 2.9 MWh of battery storage and integrates with SA Power Networks’ Utility Distribution Management System.
“It’s really important for corporate Australia to play a strong role in ensuring we move towards a carbon neutral economy,” said Paul Klymenko, CEO of Planet Ark, “It is great to see Regis taking this major step in their sustainability journey, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration which has environmental and economic benefits for Regis and their residents.”
Regis expects the LED and solar rollout to be completed by August this year and the investment for the program to pay itself off in just under four years. It explains that this is just the first phase of its program with the remaining phases of upgrades across its portfolio expected to be complete in the next two years.
Another aged care provider, Opal Aged Care, had previously opted for similar energy efficiency measures to cut onsite electricity use. Its plans is to roll out more than 3.5 MW of rooftop solar and over 28,000 LED lights at 54 of its properties across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
This article was amended on May 13 to reflect the fact that Regis is installing solar across 17 and not across all 35 sites as previously reported.
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