GREEN TEA? Carinity aged care resident Beattie Clarke enjoys a hot cuppa made on solar power.
GREEN TEA? Carinity aged care resident Beattie Clarke enjoys a hot cuppa made on solar power. Contributed

Bundaberg aged care home has its time in the sun

IN A first for Queensland, Carinity has switched three aged care communities to solar power under a $1.1 million plan which will have the majority of its sites relying on renewable energy by the end of the year

The move will save around 459.8 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually.

Over the past month Carinity, a not-for-profit outreach of Queensland Baptists, has switched three of its aged care facilities to solar power as part of its sustainability strategy.

A further five sites will transition across the state and make the switch within the next seven months.

Carinity is the first aged care provider in Queensland to switch all its care communities to solar energy.

It is part of Carinity's sustainability plan which includes a commitment to smaller and more fuel-efficient fleet vehicles, managing kitchen waste to avoid landfill, a 40% reduction in paper usage and a preference to choosing "green" suppliers.

Carinity Aged Care - Shalom in Rockhampton, Carinity Aged Care - Kepnock Grove in Bundaberg and Carinity Aged Care - Clifford in Brisbane are now operating predominately on solar power. T

he estimated greenhouse gas emission savings from switching Carinity's current eight aged-care communities to solar is equivalent to 165 tonnes of landfill.

Carinity executive manager business and development Peter Lamberth said the $1.1 million initiative was part of an organisational-wide campaign to be more sustainable.

"Working with BlueNRGY Company, we have built photovoltaic systems which are expected to account for a major percentage of our energy consumption based on average use for the past year," Mr Lamberth said.

"Using a sophisticated control system to manage the energy production of the solar inverters, we will ensure solar electricity production does not exceed the electricity load of the complex at any time."

"All the electricity generated will be used in the facility to power the vast majority, if not all, energy use."

Mr Lamberth said the panels were positioned at different orientations and pitches to increase the production of solar energy from the middle of the day to morning and afternoon.

"As a non-for-profit organisation, our commitment to care not only encompasses the people we assist but also the wider community.

"We want to ensure as an organisation we are playing our part in ensuring the health of our planet to future generations," he said.

The total 1460 solar panels are estimated to generate a total peak capacity of 528.50 MWh across the five sites.

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