British Hospital Going Wind-Powered

A healthy body and a healthy environment would seem to go hand-in-hand, so it's not surprising that a number of health care facilities around the world are adopting greener principles and practices for construction, facility management and patient care. In the UK, the town of Swindon's Great Western Hospital is joining this movement by announcing plans to generate some its power with an on-site wind turbine. According to the Swindon Advertiser, the hospital has been considering this move since last year, and sees potential for significant savings on its electric bill:
Power from the turbine would be connected to the hospital's main energy supply, powering medical equipment, lights and wards.

The natural electricity could cut £300,000 from GWH's £1m annual energy bill and reduce the hospital's carbon dioxide and carbon emissions by 23 per cent.

The Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, is ready for possible objections to the project, as the facility is "adjacent to a rural landscape of specific interest," according to head of estates and facilities Andy Bowman. He notes, though, that no local regulations prohibit approval of the hospital's plans.

While hospitals partially run on renewables are a relatively new phenomenon, the Greater Western Hospital won't be alone in Great Britain: Antrim Area Hospital in Northern Ireland has a wind turbine operating, and is "on track" to save £90,000 a year on energy costs. And, last year, a hospital in Norfolk announced plans to add a wind turbine. Can we call it a trend? ::Swindon Advertiser

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