The need to find a balance between energy reliability, affordability, and sustainability is now one of the most important concerns within healthcare organisations and the NHS. Understanding the challenges faced by the NHS and healthcare organisations to balancing these 3 core elements is vital to achieving key goals such as Net Zero. This is known as the Energy Trilemma.

As the UK’s largest employer and owner of around 3000 building across 1200 sites, the NHS has a pivotal role in the UK’s overall aim of reaching Net Zero by 2050. For the NHS energy usage is unavoidable and a consistent supply can be life and death.

With squeezed budgets finding solutions to this trilemma and reducing overall energy usage can save money as well as reducing emissions.

As NHS budgets have been known to be under pressure for some time cost-effective energy procurement will be front of mind for any healthcare organisation. Historically, better procurement was seen as the primary way to reduce energy costs, but the margin for significant savings simply by changing tariff or supplier is vanishing.

This leaves the only option to make changes in operations and energy use. Driving the need to cut costs by either simply using less or by using the energy they do pay for more intelligently.

The NHS has ambitious Net zero goals which aren’t going anywhere. Fortunately, many of the options available to NHS trust and healthcare businesses to improve sustainability can also help to reduce their energy costs and improve their energy efficiency.

While there is a general shift towards greener electricity generation in the UK, gas and fossil fuels will still be part of the mix for some time yet. Any move on the part of healthcare organisations to reduce this reliance on fossil fuels could play a significant part in the Transition to green energy.

As the transition to green power continues the National Grid will potentially become less reliable. Last winter the National Grid reported a margin of just 6.6% in capacity at one point and any major outage at a large generator could see a blackout as a real possibility next winter.

Solving YOUR Energy Trilemma

Powerstar’s range of technologies can bolster all three aspects of the trilemma. Voltage optimisation works to reduce and condition incoming voltage, reducing the cost and associated emissions of your electricity usage while protecting your site from spikes and dips in mains supply.

Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) perform a similar role to other Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) technologies but offer much better energy efficiency and are able to actively support other aspects of your energy strategy that can improve sustainability and reduce costs.

A battery-buffered EV charging system can smooth demand from charging the NHS’s fleet of Electric vehicles and coupled with a solar Photo Voltaic (PV) panel system can reduce the reliance on grid energy considerably.

Powerstar in Action – Hospital Case Study

Powerstar was engaged to replace a large hospital’s existing Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system with a more efficient, intelligent Battery Energy Storage (BESS) alternative Powerstar proposed to replace the hospital’s existing UPS system with a Battery Energy Storage System that also incorporated the rapid switching speed and reliability of a UPS.

As well as providing the same instantaneous load support as a UPS, but with the ability to support an area and not just specific systems, BESS offers much lower losses at less than 1% of total capacity. In addition to this, a Battery Energy Storage System can be used to engage with Grid Services and Demand Side Response.

This can be used to generate additional revenue and further reduce electricity costs, as well as being used to store renewable electricity generated on-site, such as that from rooftop solar, to further improve sustainability performance. HTM (Health Technical Memoranda) compliance which was required for project delivery of a system that will support critical care facilities was achieved. Powerstar’s BESS was the first system of its kind in the UK to achieve this.

This offers savings through greater energy efficiency of around £225,000 annually, as well as eliminating around 190 tonnes of CO2 emissions. National Grid Service contracts can also generate around £100,000 in additional revenue per annum on top of that saving.

Critical care facilities literally have a life and death need for an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS). For this NHS customer, the 500kW/500kWh Powerstar system was called upon twice in the same day in April 2022 to protect critical care at the hospital from power disruption.

Contact Powerstar’s team of experts today and see how we can help you save energy costs and emissions and how we can help you solve your Energy Trilemma.

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