New solar energy system at Potenza’s San Carlo hospital

A photovoltaic solar plant has been installed at the San Carlo hospital in Potenza, capital of the Basilicata region in southern Italy. The solar panels of which the plant is composed total 5 000 m² in surface area and are fitted onto the roof of the shelters above one of the hospital’s external car parks. The project’s goal was to make the hospital’s energy supply cleaner, more effective and more economical.

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Photovoltaic panels on the roof of a building © Pixabay/Common Creative Photovoltaic panels on the roof of a building © Pixabay/Common Creative

" With this project, Società Energetica Lucana has taken another step towards energy efficiency and generation of energy from renewable sources, as well as continuing to make a strong contribution to reducing regional public spending. "

Ignazio Petrone, CEO, Società Energetica Lucana

The solar energy system installed under the project is able to achieve peak output of 710.64 kilowatts in optimum weather conditions, giving it a potential capacity of 950 000 kilowatt hours of energy annually. It produced 948 000 kilowatt hours in 2015.

During the first six months after it was put into operation in March 2013, the plant brought about a reduction in energy costs for the Basilicata regional healthcare system of around EUR 290 000. It is expected that, in time, the system will lead to overall savings for the region of EUR 380 000 a year. The work was carried out by Società Energetica Lucana, an in-house company operated by Basilicata’s regional authorities.

By helping to increase the solar energy supply to Basilicata’s hospitals, the project is in line with a regional plan establishing energy and environmental guidelines, which aims to promote renewable energy use. 

The car park above which the panels are fitted is used by patients, visitors and staff, and has around 250 spaces.  The ever-expanding range of diagnostic services and surgical operations offered at the San Carlo hospital has attracted more patients. This meant that some inconvenience was encountered while the work was taking place, but the hospital mitigated this by extending another of its car parks.

Given the success of the work on the photovoltaic plant at San Carlo, the hospital has embarked on another project with Società Energetica Lucana. This focuses on energy recycling and will enable the hospital to make further savings to its energy expenditure, as well as generating additional positive environmental impacts.

Links with other green energy projects

The project received support from the Covenant of Mayors initiative for climate and energy. The network brings together thousands of local and regional authorities from across Europe who commit to implementing actions to achieve European Union climate and energy objectives. 

Alongside the work at the at the San Carlo hospital, another project was carried out with the aim of increasing solar energy use in the region’s healthcare facilities. This project installed a photovoltaic plant with a peak output of 57.6 kilowatts at the polyclinic at Sant’Arcangelo, a town of about 6 500 inhabitants, located in the province of Potenza, around 60 km south-east of the provincial capital. The plant began producing energy in December 2012.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Increase of photovoltaic energy supply in hospitals: installation of a photovoltaic system in the "San Carlo" hospital in Potenza” is EUR 3 178 435, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 1 730 557 through the “Basilicata” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.


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