Towards a 100% renewable energy hospital

Interview with Philippe Casier, Energy and Sustainable Development Engineer – Carcassonne Hospital Center.

25,000 m² of parking canopies equipped with photovoltaic panels for a capacity of 4 MWp, a project co-financed by Urbasolar and the SYADEN (Aude region energy and digital association). For this high environmental quality (HEQ) and very high energy performance hospital commissioned in 2014 whose energy consumption represents as much as all the communities in the Aude region, photovoltaic energy production completed an evolving overall Smart grid project. « We used analyzers to precisely identify load curve so as to see where we could take action. We worked on the behaviors of users, the piloting of installations, and the piloting of production. A 100% renewable energy hospital: it is something that can be envisioned even now and the goal is self-consumption. With Urbasolar, we covered 1,500 parking spaces with these canopies and we produce 5 MWh/year.
A hospital parking area has specific complexities. The helipad required the installation of non-reflective panels, and a fire access road was also necessary, access of which could not be blocked by the canopies. Our hospital was built on a former marsh and under the parking area are holding basins, valley gutters, networks, 20,000 volt lines, and diverse and varied ducts; because of all this a study had to be carried out to verify that the additional waterproofing from the canopies would not disrupt the hydrologic nature of the land to the risk of flooding the parking area or parts of the hospital installations.
By choosing Urbasolar for this project, we choose a leader in this sector, and one that is financially sound which is very important when the engagement lasts for thirty years.
When I presented them with the constraints of the project, they didn’t say, “We hadn’t accounted for that!” They listened and showed the will to do things correctly. Furthermore, this project has been in tandem with the redevelopment of the landscaping around the hospital’s entrances and the development of greenways: the creation of green planted living spaces, a pond, beehives, etc. In a context that is difficult for the hospital sector, sustainable development brings a positive element and creates savings. »