Veolia extends energy savings at Royal Berkshire Hospital

Published: 28-Jun-2022

£9.7m improvements move hospital a step nearer a zero-carbon future

Veolia is increasing energy savings at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading with a 15-year extension to its existing contract.

The £9.7m works have seen the 740-bed hospital move a step closer to a zero-carbon future through the installation of hydrogen-ready boilers, believed to be the first use of this technology in the NHS.

By installing more-efficient boilers, reducing distribution heat losses, and improving control of the heating and hot water systems, the hospital will save around 3.8GWh of gas and 850 tonnes of carbon every year.

Self funding

This highly-complex process, which is self funding from the energy savings, covered completely removing the existing steam generation and distribution from the site and converting to low-temperature hot water.

This involved installing a new network, comprising around 3km of pipework and 44 heat exchangers while the existing system continued to supply vital heating and hot water to the medical facilities.

The project was funded from the Government Health Infrastructure Plan and required the project to be completed by the close of the financial year.

By using Veolia’s experienced design and construction team, removal of steam dependence was successfully achieved by the end of March, with additional works extending into April.

And site surveys, design of the system, and negotiations of the contract amendment were all achieved within three months.

The contract extension with Veolia builds on the success of the previous agreement signed in 2012.

This provided the design and build of an energy scheme that achieved a 25% carbon footprint reduction by 2015, and delivered energy savings of £920,000.

Under the contract Veolia designed, built, and funded a 2MWe CHP unit, a 1MW waste heat boiler, and installed hot water mains and a plant management system to control the energy centre.

Fitted in wards and circulation areas, 1,500 low-energy lights saved £30,000 a year alone, and the cost of the downstream energy management improvements was repaid through guaranteed performance savings.

Commenting on this latest innovation, John Abraham, chief operating officer for Veolia UK & Ireland (industrial, water and energy) said: “Enabling the NHS to become more sustainable through energy efficiency, and helping it to focus budgets on patient care is very important as it enhances facilities and improves healthcare.

“This latest project also helps the trust to move a step nearer the net-zero carbon target.”

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